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Tips, guides and useful information for first home buyers.

17 ways to jump the queue and own your first home

Trying to buy your first home? Here are some handy life hacks for beating other first home buyers and owning your first home.

Young couple in their first home

1. Get pre-approval for your loan

It will give the buyer more certainty about having finance for the deal.

2. Get friendly with your home loan adviser

They may even give the vendor’s agent a call to settle any nerves about you being a first home-buyer.

First home buyer meeting with Home Loan Adviser

Your home loan adviser knows the ins and outs of home loans so be sure to ask them anything you're unsure of - they may even call the vendor for you.

3. Put in an offer before auction

Everyone loves to be loved – and sometimes this might just get you past the post before anyone else gets a crack.

4. Become addicted to auctions – but don’t bid

Look at people’s tactics first. And be on hand to put in an offer if a house gets passed in. Also listen out for the question: “Is the property on the market?” It’s the auction equivalent of “Are we serious yet?

5. Be flexible about settlement dates

Offer the vendor their choice of settlement date – it they are coordinating the purchase of a new home, they’re likely to love you for your flexibility.

6. Ignore the dreams to focus on needs

Know what you need to avoid wasting your time: bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, transport links, amount of work needed on the property, price, facilities.

First home buyer home in Australia

What are you looking for in your first home? Make a list of your needs and stick to them to avoid wasting time. 

7. Get the data

Ask a real estate agent for a list of recent sales in the area. This will give you an idea of the prices being paid for similar prices but also the agents selling them.

8. Become friends with real estate agents

They want to sell, you want to buy. It’s a match made in heaven. Register and keep in touch with them. They will think of you first for what you want.

9. Record real estate agent mobile numbers 

Agents will often contact unsuccessful purchasers if a similar property comes up. Know who they are and get you’re A-game on.

10. Get personal

If you see a home you like, write to the owners about why you like their home. If it’s on the market, they may look beyond price as a factor for the sale. If it isn’t, they may think about it.

11. Think ahead

If you are thinking about new homes, ask the council when the next land releases are expected and which developers are responsible. Developers will call you before the signs are posted.

Property development for first home buyers

Looking to build your own place? Get ahead of your competition by asking for information  from your local council.

12. Save consistently

Have a savings plan and stick to it. You may experience some bumps from time to time, but a consistent savings strategy backed by a fair budget will lead to better results over the long term.

13. There’s definitely an app for that

Budgeting and expense tracking apps will help you understand your spending and help you stick to your plan. This discipline will carry through to owning and maintaining a home, and then upgrading.

Group of friends playing with finance apps

Make the most of free apps that help you budget and manage your money.

14. Look for the easy wins at the edges

Some apps will “round up” your expenses and transfer the additional amount to savings. If you spend $18, it may round up to $20 and send $2 to your savings account. You may not miss the $2, but it will push along your total savings that much quicker with little effort on your part.

15. Make the wait worth it

Saving for your first home can take years, so make them count. Look for the best returns rather than leaving them in a low-rate account. After all, every dollar of interest earned is one less dollar you need to save.

16. Play games with your mind

Split your savings away before it hits your transaction account. If you don’t see it, you won’t miss it.

17. Make use of the upside wins

Tax returns, lottery wins, payouts – put these big windfalls directly into your savings and don’t touch them. You’ll get more interest, be closer to your goal, and can rely on your discipline to take care of the daily challenges. 

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