Tips for first-home buyers in 2018
The Australian housing market hasn’t always been a friendly place for first time buyers. With property prices looking as if they may soften for the first time in over half a decade, 2018 could be the year to get a foot on the elusive property ladder.
So, what can you do to secure your place on the property ladder this year?
Get into the market ASAP
You can spend years plotting your triumphant break into the buying scene at just the right moment, but nothing can beat just digging in and getting started.
Most may be familiar with the saying “time in the market is always more important than timing the market”. Never is this truer than with first buyers. Sadly, there will be no ideal moment to appear in the property scene. Quality property in good areas will always rise in value over the long term and it’s best as a first-time buyer to get a foot on the ladder as soon as you can and settle in for a steady climb.
Affordable properties do exist
News surrounding the Australian property market focuses disproportionately on the big two: Sydney and Melbourne – home to some of the most inflated housing markets in the world. While these areas are convenient and home to 38 per cent of the country’s population, they are not the only places to buy property.
Smaller cities or towns outside the city boundaries provide a friendlier territory for those with a more moderate spending power. Cities like Brisbane can provide a steady economic growth in an up and coming area, but with deposits at $83,000, it’s a realistic aim for the first-time buyer.
Secure a deposit
Securing a deposit is the first major step to entering the market and often the most daunting one. Saving tens of thousands of dollars is an intimidating task, particularly while still paying rent and other day to day expenses. Here are a few things to bear in mind when preparing your deposit:
- Always clear your debts first. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing all your savings drain away into the debts you have already racked up. One thing at a time – get those debts under control first.
- Take advantage of the government’s First Home Super Saver Scheme. This can help you minimise the tax you pay on your savings so more goes into securing your first home.
- Ask your family to help out. Getting a loan from the bank of Mum and Dad, if possible, can be a great way to help boost you in the final stretch.
Make the most of low interest rates
One of the advantages of making the property leap this year is that interest rates are still relatively low. This paves the way for great deals on your home loan. If you’re ready to purchase your first home in 2018, contact us today
Our tips on how to create a multi-generational home
Broadly defined as a home containing two sets of adult generations, a multi-generational home includes adult children living with parents or grandparents moving into the family home.
For an increasing number of reasons, notably inflated house prices and rising care costs, adapting your house to fit several generations under one roof is proving a popular option for many Australians.
So how can you make your home work for the generations that may be joining you?
The most common complaint of those sharing a home with relatives, however close they may be, is lack of personal space. Having room for separate, enclosed bedrooms and living spaces allows each generation to relax and socialise as they choose. With this in mind choosing a house with plenty of rooms or land to expand into in the future can help ensure that creating the right amount of privacy is possible.
An additional element for creating privacy and one which can take some forethought, is having separate bathrooms for each generation. These should be accessible via the appropriate living quarters and allow each to go about their daily ablutions without having to coordinate with the rest of the house.
Providing extra care for elderly parents remains the main reasons for multi-generational living. Preparing your house to include features that will enable mobility for the elderly can avoid problems in the future. Ground floor accessibility is one of the easiest ways to facilitate easy access for the elderly. Creating a space whereby bathrooms, living space and bedrooms are all on one floor with no need for stairs gives older generations freedom to move as they wish.
Ensuring that your home is ready requires planning and financial investment. This is where we can help. If you’re considering how your home could be adapted to best suit your wider family and need financial advice, contact us today to ensure you’re financially prepared.
The questions you should ask before getting a home loan
Taking out a home loan can be a nerve wracking experience, particularly for first time buyers. The key to making the experience not just bearable but fruitful is to understand exactly what you are taking on.
Here are the questions you should know the answer to before getting your home loan.
Are you eligible for government assistance?
There are a variety of both state and federally funded concessions and grants for property buyers. Notably the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme introduced in 2000 can be a significant aid to first-time buyers.
What is the interest rate?
Your interest rate is offered to you by the lender and will be based on:
1. The loan amount
2. Your credit score
Along with the loan balance and term, your interest rate is what determines the amount you pay every month. If you are unhappy with the interest rate you are offered, you can try a different lender or alternatively improve your credit score to qualify you for lower interest rates.
How much can you afford to repay?
Loan repayment calculators are a great way to work out how much you need to pay and whether you want to do so monthly or fortnightly. Ask yourself whether you can afford to pay more than what has been allotted and how this would impact your overall financial plans. Make sure you understand exactly how much you will be paying every month and that you have considered insurance and taxes payments in your budgeting calculations.
Fixed or Variable rate loan?
Fixed-rate home loans give a consistent rate throughout their lifetime, which can be anything from 10-30 years. This has the advantage of giving you certainty over the amount you will repay and ensures you can plan ahead.
Variable rate loans have a changeable interest rate after a certain fixed period, allowing you to take advantage of any future reductions to interest rates. If you do take up this option, make sure that you understand how often the rates will change and which index the rate is tied to.
What is the minimum down payment?
Though most home loans require a 20 per cent down payment, different loan products can have varying requirements. If you are looking for help and guidance with your home loan, contact us today.