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First Home Buyer's Guide

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The First Home Buyers Guide for everything you need to know about home buying

Strategies to help you buy your first home.

Buying your first property is an exciting milestone, but as with any “first time” experience it can also be daunting. As one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in life, there will be important decisions you need to make along the way.

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Trying to navigate through the process can be difficult and will undoubtedly raise many questions. Here we’ve outlined the path most first home buyers will take to getting their first home.

  1. Review your finances: it’s important to take a deep dive into your finances before you start looking at properties. Be active in reducing existing debt and set a savings plan to save a deposit. It’s also important to review your spending habits so you can determine your current situation.
  2. Determine your borrowing capacity: you can do this with helpful online calculators (like these) or speaking to a lending specialist.
  3. Look for and decide on a lender: products, cost and service can vary from lender to lender so it’s important that you do your research and find a lender that suits you best. Once you settle on your preferred lender, obtain pre-approval to give you peace of mind as you peruse the market.
  4. Start looking: with the initial paper work behind you it’s time to get out there and start looking at properties. Domain and realstate.com.au have great apps that let you search, save and share properties that take your fancy. They’re also great at syncing with your calendar, which is incredibly helpful when you’re trying to schedule numerous inspections.
  5. Make an offer: when you find your dream home it’s time to arrange your inspection reports such as building and pest inspections, and a strata search if you’re buying an apartment. If they all check out, you’re in the clear to make an offer, or bid at auction.
  6. Contract exchange: if your offer is accepted, you will sign and exchange contracts. You may also find your 10% deposit is due. Once this is done you’ll have a cooling off period in case you change your mind. These periods vary depending on which state you buy in. Of course, if you buy at auction, you purchase the property and pay the deposit on the spot and there is no cooling off period.
  7. Get the keys: after the cooling off period, there is generally a three to six-week settlement period. On settlement, you’ll finally receive the keys to your new property!

If you’d like to read more about buying your first property, download our First Home Buyer’s Guide. It’s a comprehensive guide to help you through the entire process from budgeting right through to finding a property, sorting your finances and moving in.

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