Top tips for first home buyers

Published on: 29 May 2024

If you’re about to buy your first home, there are a few things you should do to ensure the journey to home ownership is a smooth one.

To help you embark on this wonderful journey, we’ve put together our top 5 tips for first home buyers.   


1. Do your home loan research


Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of home loans will make you a smarter borrower and could land you a better mortgage.


Understanding home loan jargon and learning about everything from interest rates to the settlement process will give you confidence when applying for loans.


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. Review what’s on offer from all banks including those that you don’t usually bank with.


But if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by it all, a mortgage broker will be able to help you navigate the process. A mortgage broker can take a lot of pressure off you during the sometimes-stressful home buying experience. 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 also can speak to lenders on your behalf and find home loans that could be a good fit for you. And the best part – most mortgage brokers provide their services for free.

2. Give yourself plenty of time to save up a deposit (or make sure you have a deposit readily available)


You may already have access to your deposit but if not, your home loan deposit will likely be the largest expense you pay upfront when buying a house.


The amount you’ll ideally need to save for your deposit will be dependent on a variety of factors including the type of home you want to buy, its value and your finances.


The bigger your deposit, the smaller home loan you’ll require. The benefit of having a smaller home loan is that it’ll take less time to pay off, meaning you’ll pay less interest over the life of your loan.


At Oaklands Green, our Sales Directors can guide you through this part of the process.

3. 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. This means not only saving up for a deposit, but the many other home buying costs involved.


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.


Don’t forget to look at your credit report. You can check your credit file for free a couple of times per year and it’s a good idea to know what’s in your report before you apply for a loan.


Make sure there aren’t any inaccuracies and see whether you should be aiming to boost your credit score before you apply for any loans.


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


Home loan 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 your property budget. This way you don’t waste time on homes outside of your price range and can confidently submit offers on a house.


Borrowers with pre-approval are often seen more favourably by vendors as it suggests that the settlement process could be faster so this works in your favour when there is more than one party interested in the property.


First home buyer advice: If you’re not sure how to get your first home loan, an online borrowing calculator may be a good place to start – most financial institutions have these calculators.


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.


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


Did you know that there are several government schemes aimed at helping first home buyers own property sooner?
Some of these schemes include:

As always, at Oaklands Green we’re here to guide you through the buying process. Just email our Sales Director, Richard Joy on to find out more.

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