We asked Australia’s first home buyers what they want to know when buying their first home.
Here are simple answers to your most common questions, because let’s face it – home buying can be tricky – we’re here to make it easy for you.
How much money do I need for a house deposit?
You’ll need a minimum of 5% of the purchase price of your first house.
What’s the different between a home loan package and a home loan?
A home loan is just that – your loan.
While a home loan package combines your loan with other common financial products for an annual fee that could save you thousands over the life of your loan.
Should I get a fixed rate or variable rate home loan?
There’s no right or wrong! Though you should consider how you prefer to make your repayments.
Your rate doesn’t change with a fixed rate home loan even if interest rates change. This can help you budget your first loan as you’ll know what your repayments will be, though a 'break cost fee' may apply if you break your fixed term rate by paying out your loan early, or switching to a different product. You can make up to $10,000 of extra repayments each year, though you can’t redraw them.
Your rate may change with a variable rate home loan when interest rates change. You can make extra repayments and withdraw them if needed.
How do I make an offer on a property?
Step 1. Review the contract of sale
You can ask to review it after your first inspection.
Step 2. Make your offer!
Once you’re happy with the contract of sale, make your offer!
Be sure to include conditions of the sale such as: subject to finance or inspections.
Step 3. Prepare to negotiate
First offer accepted? Go you! Though in many cases you’ll need to negotiate and reach an agreement with the seller.
Step 4. Exchange and sign contracts
Offer accepted? Your next step is to exchange and sign contracts, plus be ready to pay your deposit.
How much is Stamp Duty and transfer fees?
It depends on the price of your house. You’ll need to allow about 5% of the purchase price to cover both Government costs.
What does a conveyancer do and why do I need one to buy my first house?
A conveyancer is needed to help with the settlement and title transfer whenever a property is bought or sold.
Your conveyancer will make sure your rights are protected and that you meet legal obligations.
What is LMI?
Lender’s Mortgage Insurance is a fee charged when your deposit is less than 20% of your property's purchase price.
Do I need a building inspection?
You don’t need one, though it’s a good idea to make sure that the property is structurally sound – it could save you money in the long run!
How does an auction work ?
Once the seller is happy with the price, the auctioneer will announce “SOLD”. You’ll need to pay a deposit of around 10% of the purchase price right away.
What does genuine savings mean?
Genuine savings are funds that have been saved over time. Genuine savings help to prove you can meet your proposed loan repayments.
How can I improve my credit score?
Reduce the number of applications you have for credit services, such as: credit cards, personal loans, home loans, store cards.
What’s the difference between an offset across and a redraw?
They’re pretty similar, in that they reduce the interest payable on your loan.
The redraw facility does this by your extra repayments being put in your loan, reducing your balance and therefore reducing the interest charged to your loan. However if you need to access these extra payments you will need to transfer them to your chosen account first. You will also need to transfer a minimum amount.
An offset account is a separate transaction account linked to an eligible variable rate home loan. The balance of your offset account is offset against your loan, reducing the interest payable. The offset account can be easily accessed using your card.