Getting Started on Your Journey to Buying Your First Home / 3 Steps to Buying Your First Home
Are you ready to buy your first home? The journey towards owning your first property in New South Wales involves a three-step process: financing, getting land, and building your dream home. This guide breaks down each step, making the journey to homeownership an attainable goal.
Financing Your Dream
Determine how much you can afford regarding land and house costs. Have a budget in mind for how much you’ll need and start saving for a deposit! Typically a deposit is about 20% of the property’s value.
Alternatively, there are other ways of sourcing funds without needing the full deposit. Many lenders will allow a loan-to-value ratio as high as 95% if you have lenders’ mortgage insurance. Another way is to secure a loan guarantor, in this case you may be able to borrow more. To find out more about contracts and deposits visit the contracts and deposits page on the NSW government website.
In NSW, eligible first home buyers no longer have to pay stamp duty on property valued up to $650,000. For homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000, a concessional rate is applied. When buying land, first home buyers don’t need to pay any stamp duty if it is worth less than $350,000. For land valued between $350,000 to $450,000 there is a concessional rate.
If you borrow more than 80% of a property’s value there is no duty on lender’s mortgage insurance, saving you further money as a first home buyer.
The ASIC MoneySmart mortgage calculator is a useful tool to determine how much you can afford to borrow and what your home loan repayments would be.
Home Loan Options
When you borrow money to buy property, it is called a home loan which pays your mortgage. It is made up of the principal, which is the amount borrowed from a lender, and the interest, which is the cost of borrowing the money. A home loan, or mortgage, is a long term debt. Interest rates change, this is an important factor to consider when working out what you can afford.
There are two types of loan, a fixed rate and a variable rate. If you choose a fixed rate loan then the interest is set at the time of you purchasing the loan, regardless of whether your lender changes it later on. If you choose a variable rate, the interest will change during the duration of your mortgage depending on the rates set by your lender. Both types of loan have pros and cons, you may even decide to split the loan and make it partly fixed and partly variable.
There are a number of third party home loan comparison websites to help decide which is the best choice for you.
Grants and Assistance
There are government grants available that provide financial support for people looking to buy a property for the first time. The Home Buyer Assistance Finder can help you work out which you would be suited to.
Eligible first home owners may qualify for a $10,000 grant when buying or building a new home under the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme. First home buyers may also be privy to a full or reduced exemption on transfer duty (stamp duty) if eligible for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme.
Another government initiative is the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS). This allows first home buyers to make voluntary super contributions before and after tax. You can then apply under the FHSS to have your voluntary savings released to help you buy your first home.
Additionally, nurses, teachers and police may be eligible for the Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper initiative.
For more information visit the NSW government website.
Securing the Right Land
Location, Location, Location
There’s a reason this phrase is so popular in the property development space. For many, location is the most important decision for the buyer when viewing property. Your decision should be based on a region that aligns with your lifestyle, preferences, and future plans.
Typically, home buyers look for areas that have accessible transport links, and great services and amenities including schools and childcare options. The environment should also reflect your lifestyle. Green open spaces for example are attractive to walkers and runners as well as providing a place for sport and recreation.
Zoning and Regulations
It is advised that you familiarise yourself with local zoning laws and regulations that impact land use and building design. Local environmental plans (LEPs) are a planning tool for shaping the future of communities and setting appropriate guidelines. Visit the Local Planning and Zoning page on the NSW government website for more details.
You can search for planning information about a property using the NSW Portal’s Spatial Viewer. The tool is a digital mapping service providing maps for every address and lot in NSW.
Building Your Home
It’s time to choose a builder and start building your home! For a full list of approved builders, visit the our display village or feel free to visit them at their display homes. Alternatively, contact our friendly sales representatives for more information.
After you have chosen your builder, you can pick a design. Which layout would work best? How many rooms do you need? Would you like a garden? After this you’ll need to formalise the agreement, possibly with payment. Then any designs will be reviewed and site reports ordered. After the final assessment, the final contract will be drawn up. There’s also the option of an interior design consult if required. Then just sit back and watch your property come to life.
By following these steps, you can turn your homeownership dreams into reality. Begin by securing the finances, choose the right land for your unique circumstances, and watch your home come to life!