19 Jan 2024

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most of us are likely to make. And for some it can feel a little overwhelming.  So to help ease some of the pressure, we’ve put together our top ten tips to help you navigate your way to home purchase happiness!


1. Do your home loan research 

When it comes to researching home loans, don’t just go for the first home loan you find without comparing it to others on the market. Take the time to look at loans offered by various lenders – even if it means going with a lender that isn’t your usual bank.  

A mortgage broker also can help alleviate some stress by guiding you and offering mortgage solutions that suit your needs and budget.

Remember – the lowest interest rate isn’t always your best option, and a mortgage broker can help you find the one that is (more on this in a moment).


2. Give yourself plenty of time to save for a deposit 

Your home loan deposit will likely be the largest expense you pay upfront when buying a home. The beauty with buying a house and land package off the plan is that often the deposit is smaller and the construction time gives you some breathing space and maybe some time to save a little extra money to go towards your mortgage.

Remember – your home loan only becomes active when your financial institution transfers the remaining funds for you to purchase your home, and this happens at ‘settlement’.


3. Make sure you save enough for your deposit 

In most circumstances, a 20% deposit is standard when it comes to buying a property. So, if you want to purchase a $500,000 property, a 20% deposit would be $100,000.

Some lenders will accept a smaller deposit but may charge Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) to account for the risk. Your mortgage broker or bank can talk you through this option.

Remember – depending on the type of property, there a number of additional costs involved in buying a house. Your mortgage broker will be able to explain each of these.


4. Get your finances into shape 

In addition to saving up a home loan deposit, it’s important to make sure your finances are in order.

Lenders prefer to lend to borrowers who are financially stable. This means that they’ll comb through your financial records, including your bank statements and credit score. 

In the months leading up to applying for a home loan, try to keep your expenses sensible so that the lender has no reason to hesitate in approving you.  

Remember – if you are a working couple, your home loan lender will likely look at both of your financial records.


5. Figure out what you want and need in a property 

When buying a home, whether it’s an investment property or where you intend to live, it’s good to have a clear idea of what you are looking for.

Create a list of features in a home that are essential, as well as ‘nice-to-haves’ and anything else you’d like to avoid.  

Remember – think ahead. If you’re planning a family, do the houses you’re looking at have the room for an extra little person; are they near childcare and school facilities; are they close to playgrounds and parkland?




6. Get home loan pre-approval so you can buy with confidence 

Pre-approval is a formal indication from a lender that they are likely to approve you for a specified loan amount.  Mortgage pre-approval is conditional, so the lender could still choose to decline your formal loan application.  

Pre-approval helps you get a realistic idea of what your property budget actually is. This way you don’t waste time on homes outside of your price range and can confidently submit offers on a house. 


How much is home loan pre-approval and how long does it last? 

Pre-approval is typically free and is limited to a period of between 3 and 6 months in most cases. However, many lenders will approve you for an extension if you request one before the end of this period and your financial circumstances haven’t changed. 

Remember – borrowers with pre-approval are often seen more favourably by vendors as it suggests that the settlement process could be faster. 


7. Speak to a mortgage broker 

You can get a lot out of speaking to a mortgage broker. In addition to doing a lot of the hard work for you, they’re also on hand to answer your questions and guide you through the loan application process.  

They can speak to lenders on your behalf and find home loans that could be a good fit for you.  To provide potential recommendations, they’ll get to know you and your needs. There are so many home loans out there and not all of them will be suitable for you.  

Remember – in some cases, a mortgage broker can actually barter with lenders on your behalf. It depends on your circumstances and market conditions at the time. But at the end of the day, lenders are in the business of lending, and if you fit their criteria, they will sometime make concessions to sign you up – and it’s you brokers job to barter those concessions.


8. Find out if you’re eligible for government buyer assistance schemes 

Did you know that there are a number of government schemes aimed at helping first home buyers own property sooner? 

Some of these schemes include: 

  • First Home Owners Grant
  • First Home Loan Deposit Scheme 
  • Stamp duty concessions and exemptions (state-based) 
  • Shared Equity

Remember – once again, your mortgage broker is one of the best people to talk to about your options for government assistance. Our Oaklands Green Sales Team can also provide general and helpful information.

9. A home loan is more than just its interest rate 

It may sound obvious, but it’s important to consider more than just the interest rate when choosing a home loan.  Yes, getting a competitive interest rate is important but what else should you consider? 

  • Fees: some lenders charge administrative fees on their home loans which can increase your home loan repayments 
  • Features: see if it’s worthwhile to you to get a loan feature like an offset account or redraw facility.   
  • Customer service: the level of service provided by the lender is also important to consider, along with how well they keep customers informed of changes. Read lender reviews or ask around for word-of-mouth recommendations. 

Remember – having a long-standing relationship with one financial institution can be beneficial. They might be keener to reward your loyalty with reduced fees or other concessions. Again, this is something for your mortgage broker.

10. Buy at Oaklands Green! 

You’ll find that Oaklands Green meets all of the advice mentioned above. Being one of the largest urban renewal developments in the country, the development offers lots of options for all kinds of buyers with different needs. And when complete, will provide a wonderfully green and connected community in one of the best locations in SA.




With its house and land packages proving to be extremely popular, it would be well worth speaking to our Sales Director, Richard Joy on 0439 504 440 to discuss your options. To keep up to date with the Oaklands Green news, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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