After years of housing price growth across Australia, 2019 has seen the market cool and prices plateau in a number of popular areas. That means now could be the ideal time to dive into the real estate scene. But what do you need to know to get on the housing ladder? We reveal all in this guide to buying your first home.

Change the way you think about buying

A common mistake that many first-time buyers make is that they worry about what they should have invested in years ago. But the problem is that those suburbs have likely topped out in terms of property prices, so in the long term it may not deliver as much value as buying a home in a suburb that’s on the up or in a new development.

There are plenty of opportunities to find not just your dream home, but one that suits all your particular needs, such as a modern design, a community spirit, lots of amenities like schools and shopping centres nearby, and more.

The number one rule for first-time buyers is to explore the market as it is today, not based on its value yesterday.

What to look for in your ideal first home

When looking to get on the housing ladder, you’ll want to do plenty of research so you come out with the perfect first home – for both your needs and your budget. Consider:

  • Amenities: Are there many local schools in the vicinity? What about healthcare facilities and grocery stores? Are there enough public transport lines? These all add value to an area and can make your day-to-day life much easier.
  • Infrastructure: Research if there are any plans to develop new shopping centres or train lines near your chosen area. It may take a while for them to be operational, but over the long term it will boost the area and make it a more attractive option for buyers.
  • Property guides: Jump online and take a look at what the property guides are saying about the median house price in each suburb, as well as rental yield for investors. This may help whittle down your long list of preferred suburbs.
  • New developments: Rather than buying into an established suburb where prices may already be sky-high, new developments offer the best of modern amenities combined with a relaxing community environment. Some exceptional new developments at the moment include Harmony on the Sunshine Coast, Waterford in the Hunter Region, Savana in Wyndham Vale, Hillstowe in Officer, Victoria, and Bloomdale – just a 30-minute drive from the Melbourne CBD.

Take advantage of government schemes

It’s actually a lot easier to get on the housing ladder than you might think, especially if you’re eligible for one or more property initiatives from the government. Soon-to-be home buyers may be able to take advantage of the First Home Owner Grant in their chosen state, with different amounts on offer and eligibility requirements depending on where you choose to live.

But there’s also another government scheme in the works. Set to roll out on 1 January 2020, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme will assist Australians with the purchase of their first home with up to $10,000 saved on Lenders Mortgage Insurance. That means even if you only have a 5% deposit for your dream home, you may be eligible for some financial relief from the government.

Common traps to avoid

While buying your first home is an exciting time and the start of a new chapter in your life, it’s important to be smart with your decision-making and ensure you don’t skip over any crucial details. Here are some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid:

  • Buy with your head, not your heart – when it comes to a big investment like a home, emotional decisions don’t always work out in the long term.
  • Do plenty of research and get everything prepared before going house hunting – those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
  • Don’t rush – it’s better to scour the market and wait for the right property than to jump at the first home that’s within your price range (and may not be a good fit overall).
  • Speak to the experts – the real estate market is often cyclical in nature, and property experts, mortgage brokers and financial advisors may be able to answer any difficult questions you’ve been too afraid to ask.
  • Get your cash flow in order first – make sure you’re financially ready for this investment. And of course see what government schemes you’re eligible for to help you along the way.
  • Be thorough – do your due diligence on the property (or planned property if you’re buying a house and land package) and take precautions by conducting walk-throughs and building and pest inspections.

 

At AVID, we create places where people love to belong. To find out more about our developments around the country and how you can invest in the home of your dreams, contact us today.