Buying a home
Research about how long it takes to find the right place to buy shows that the search for your dream home takes around 6 months on average, so there’s no need to rush your financial decisions, either. If you’re a parent, take a look at our list of suburbs parents like to live in.
Five step guide to buying a house
Our 5 step guide to buying a house or unit can walk you through the process. You might want to toss up the pros and cons of living in an apartment or duplex housing versus a larger house on its own piece of land.
The costs involved in buying a home are numerous – far more than just the purchase price:
- Save up for a deposit of 5% or more.
- A home loan is a long-term commitment, so your repayments need to be affordable for many years to come. Try our home loan and mortgage calculator or repayment calculator to see what your payments might be for different types of home loan.
- There are also fees involved in a home loan that you need to budget for.
- You might want to consider taking out income protection insurance in case you are suddenly unable to make your repayments because of a sudden long-term illness or injury.
- All the required pest and building inspections cost money, and stamp duty adds a tidy sum.
- If you’re thinking of using a buyer’s agent so you don’t have to do the running around looking at a long list of possibilities, they do charge a fee for their services.
- A mortgage broker could take the pain out of looking for a mortgage – in fact, 47% of mortgages are arranged by a broker – but don’t forget they also charge fees.
- If you’re building a house from scratch, look out for hidden costs including site costs, flooring, and driveways – and unusual landscaping or building on a slope! And make sure you investigate the ins and outs of construction loans.
- If you’re going to buy at auction, be sure not to make these classic mistakes.
Check your credit rating to make sure the bank will be happy to lend to you, and then find out how much money you could borrow from the bank. You might also be eligible for a state first home buyer’s grant, which would definitely help a lot.
As for the type of home loan you choose, there are many different forms they can take. Will you have a fixed rate or a variable rate home loan, include an offset account, or even an interest-only home loan or revolving line of credit’ You can make your home loan cheaper in terms of the interest you pay simply by making your repayments more frequent.
Use our checklist for choosing the right home loan and compare home loans on our website, then follow our checklist for applying for a home loan. You could also save money by packaging your home loan together with your other accounts at one institution. You might even be able to get a loan from the Bank of Mum and Dad.
When it’s all over, finance approved, settlement completed, and you have at last officially bought your first home, be sure to follow our checklist for moving home. First you’ll need to connect new utilities (water, electricity, and gas) and telco services (phone and internet) at your new home and disconnect the ones at your old place. Next, redirect your mail at the post office and advise everyone under the sun about your change of address – including eBay, Amazon, PayPal, and any other online shopping outlets you use. Later, once you’ve had a chance to settle in, it’s time to learn how to decrease mortgage stress.