First-time home buyers guide

There’s a lot to wrap your head around when buying a property, including inspections, loan applications and finding the right conveyancer. In fact there are 24 steps to buying your first house. To simplify things, we’ve compiled this guide for first-time home buyers.

The first step to owning your own home is getting your budget sorted. Work out how much you can afford to borrow for a home loan. Once you have a rough idea of how much you can afford, you might want to factor in any fees or grants.

Fees and grants to take into consideration:

Stamp Duty: a tax you pay on certain asset purchases, including business assets and properties. The cost of stamp duty varies depending on the state or territory your property is in and the price of the sale.

Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI): An additional cost on top of your home loan amount that protects the lender if you’re unable to make your loan repayments. It’s usually included if the total of your loan is more than 80% of the value of the property you’re purchasing.

Conveyancing: This is the process of transferring land titles and the ownership of property. You can hire a conveyancer or a property lawyer to manage this for you, but costs vary depending on the state you purchase the property in, the type of property and the size of the sale.

Land titles: Are a legal document proving ownership of the property. Find out what’s required of you and how much it will cost to transfer ownership by visiting the government website in the relevant state or territory:

New South Wales
Victoria
ACT
Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory

Property inspections: Another often forgotten cost associated with buying a house are the inspections and reports required to make sure you know exactly what you're buying. You may need to organise:

Building inspection
Pest inspection
Pre-settlement inspection
Swimming pool inspection

First Home Owner Grant: You might be eligible for a grant to help you cover the cost of the above fees, but eligibility requirements vary between states:

New South Wales
Victoria
ACT
Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory

Sort out your financing

Next, compare your home loan options to find a mortgage that suits you. When you've made a decision, click the ‘Go to site' button on the comparison table to take you directly through to the application on your lender's site.

By applying for pre-approval (sometimes known as conditional approval) before you start looking at properties, you'll have a good idea about how much you can afford to spend on your new property.

Find the right location

Your budget will help you decide where you can afford to buy, which will narrow down your property search. While searching for a property, make sure you consider how close you are to:

Public Transport
The local shops
Schools
Parks

Once you’ve worked out where the essentials are located, you can start to have a bit more fun. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Would you prefer a family friendly neighbourhood?
2. Do you have a favourite cuisine you like to be located near?
3. What’s the night life like in your new area?
4. Are you near any high-traffic roads?
5. Do you have any pets that like to socialise with other animals? (e.g. dogs)
6. Do you need a big back yard?

Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your first home, it’s just a matter of time before you find your first property. Before you know it, it’ll be time to pick up the keys. When moving day rolls around, there’s still plenty to do.

Now the hard part is over, you can focus on unpacking and setting up your new home.

In the market for your first home? Start by comparing home loans with InfoChoice today.

Advertisement