First Home Buyers: Five Things to Know

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Looking to buy your first home? Feeling excited? Anxious? Confused? You are not alone!

Here at Buxton, we pride ourselves on making your buying and selling experience a fun, exciting and easy breezy process, so look no further while we dive into the 5 things to know when looking to buy your first home! 

Your deposit

First things first, let’s talk about your deposit.

When purchasing a home, you will be required to give a deposit of a percentage of the purchase price. Providing a deposit means you own a small portion of the property, having a larger deposit may mean not needing to borrow as much money from the bank which also means paying less interest over the lifetime of your home loan.

The First Home Buyer Duty Exemption, Concession or Reduction

When purchasing a property there are additional costs on top of your deposit that you will need to save for such as solicitor/ conveyancer fees, property transaction costs, rates and stamp duty (a government tax on certain purchases including buying a home land, or investment property), but here’s where being a first home buyer in Victoria can come in handy: you may be eligible for the First Home Buyer Duty Exemption (you pay no stamp duty), Concession (a discount on stamp duty). 

Are you eligible to save on stamp duty? 

  • You must be 18 or over at the date of the contract.
  • At least one of the first home buyers must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must be an individual, not a company or trust.
  • You and your spouse/partner must never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia.
  • You and your spouse/partner must never have received a first home buyer grant in Australia.
  • You or one of the other first home buyers must move into the new home as your principal place of residence within 12 months after buying the property and live there for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
  • Your contract must be dated on or after 1 July 2017.

Arranging financing

Spend time exploring your options. Some banks demand a 20% deposit; others are more flexible. Perhaps your parents will go guarantor for the loan, or part of it. Consider using a mortgage broker as they will guide you and recommend suitable loan options. And they don’t charge you a fee for their advice as this is covered by the lender.

Getting pre-approval is always a good idea, a lender won’t give you money just based on your salary. They’ll grant “pre-approval”, which means you can make a monetary commitment with confidence. However, the lender will finalise its approval once they’ve valued and approved the property you intend to buy. Do not sign any document that waives your right to pull out of a transaction if your lender ends up refusing you. 

Starting the hunt

With your finances all lined up, you will need to think about the dynamics of buying a home. If you find your dream place, you best believe others will love it, too, especially in this market. So, be prepared to move quickly to beat the competition.

House hunting is super fun however it is exhausting. In a hot market, it can get stressful because of buyer competition. Don’t be put off and keep your focus. You may miss out on a few properties, but there are always more out there!

Be confident

When making an offer for a home, confidence is key! If the property is in your price range you have every right to make any offer, but we recommend you be realistic with your offer if you want the property. Don’t low-ball to see if the seller bites, they probably won’t (especially if the market is hot).

Buying real estate for the first time can feel quite intimidating. You’ve got to deal with sellers and their agents, rival buyers, banks, and lawyers. And it’s not always clear what role each of them plays in the process. 

Don’t feel like you have to walk through the experience blindfolded, we understand how daunting it can be to buy your first home so we're here to help you, every step of the way.

If you have any real estate queries, please don't hesitate to reach out to your nearest Buxton office for assistance.