Construction Updates

First homeowner stamp duty exemptions and discounts

April 5, 2022

Buying your first home is an exciting time, but it can take longer than you expect. As one of the most important financial decisions of your life, it’s crucial you don’t rush in. You need to take your time and go into the process with a clear understanding of what to expect. 

With house and land packages becoming available, here are five things to do before buying your first home. 

Do your research

Buying a home involves a lot of research to ensure you make the right decision. Research property prices and trends so you are as informed about the property market as possible when buying your first home. This will help you avoid overpaying and ensure you get good value from your first property. 

Research the area you’re looking to buy. Go out and visit it in person, drive around the streets to get a feel for the neighbourhoods, and look at where local amenities are, including schools, shops, parks, and public transport, to determine if it will suit your lifestyle. 

You need to get an understanding of the area and property prices, so you can determine if you can afford to live there. Keep in mind you may need to be flexible. While you may have your heart set on a specific location but it’s out of your budget, be open to other areas. 

You may also want to consider the price growth potential of the area and any proposed developments that could impact the value of your property, as well as impact the community and lifestyle of the area. 

Get your finances in order

Before buying your first home you need to get your finances in order, from saving your deposit, to knowing what other costs are involved with homeownership. 

Buying a home is a massive expense, so be realistic about what you can afford. Be clear about how much you’re prepared to pay, both upfront and for your monthly repayments, and stick to your budget, otherwise you may find yourself in a difficult position. Buying a home can take time but you need to be patient to avoid any costly mistakes. 

There are a lot of costs involved with buying a home, and as a first home buyer, it can be frustrating trying to work out how much you need to be able to buy a home. There are upfront costs you need to pay on top of your deposit, as well as charges you may need to pay down the road. You need to be aware of all of them, and it can be confusing when trying to wrap your head around it all. Speaking to a mortgage broker can help you understand the costs and how much you really need to buy your first home. 

Work out what you want

Once you know what you can afford, you need to work out what you want in a first home. 

What type of property are you looking to buy? A new build, a home that requires renovation, or land to build on? Look at various types of property to determine what suits your needs and your budget. 

Consider what you need in a home. If you have a family or are planning for one in the future, you’ll need enough space. This could mean you need a certain number of bedrooms or a large backyard. Do you work from home and need space for a home office? These factors will all impact the type of house you need. 

Try to be flexible with your first home, and once you start looking at properties in person you may realise what features you can go without. Remember that when it comes to your first home you may not find a dwelling with everything you want (or be able to afford it), so be realistic. A first home is often a stepping stone, rather than your forever home. 

Get pre-approval

Getting pre-approval on your home loan helps you know how much you can borrow. 

Home loan approval involves the lender agreeing (in principle) to lend you a certain amount of money towards purchasing a home. Having pre-approval can make it easier for you to shop around with an idea of what you can afford, however, it’s important to understand that it does not guarantee you’ll get approved for a home loan. 

If you do find a home you’re ready to buy, having pre-approval can mean you’re able to put in an offer straight away rather than needing to wait. It can be the difference between you getting your dream home and missing out. 

Inspect potential homes

Once you’ve worked out your budget, have a savings goal and know what area you want to buy in, then it’s time to start looking at properties in person!

Looking at properties in person allows you to see what you do and don’t like, and get a feel for what it might be like to live there. Property pictures online don't always give you the full picture, but when you attend an inspection you can look more closely at everything from appliances and power switches to the condition of floors and paintwork. 

If you find a property you’re considering putting an offer on, it is generally worth getting professional inspectors to look at it. They will check if the property is structurally sound and identify any hidden issues, which will help you avoid making costly mistakes when buying your first home. 

To find out more about new house and land packages for sale, chat to the team at Tulloh Street.