When buying your first home there is much to consider and plenty to research. Firstly you need to work out how much you can borrow. This is where the services at National Service Financial will really help you.
Budgeting and borrowing
If you are still living at home and have never rented before, when considering owning your home for the first time, there are many daily living expenses that are usually missed when doing your first home loan budget.
When we work with you, we make sure you have an accurate and detailed budget that takes into account all expenses associated with purchasing a property (including stamp duty, council rates and other fees) and living expenses once you’ve moved in. We can help you identify these additional costs.
Considerations for buying your first home…
- Do you want a freestanding house, a townhouse or a unit?
- Do you want a renovated property or one requiring renovation?
- How many bedrooms do you need?
- If your budget allows, would you prefer a pool, second bathroom or extra garaging?
- What features are essential on day one, and what can come later?
Decide your priorities and if necessary the personal activities and indulgences you are willing to trade off to save money.
Location is important
A property in an attractive street in a popular suburb with easy access to transport, shops and schools is always a good investment. Consider the aspect of the property. North facing kitchens and outdoor areas are most popular. Does the property have a nice outlook? Is it appealing from the street? Does it have lots of natural light? Take into account whether it will be easy to sell if and when your needs change.
Inspect the property at different times of the day to get an idea of how different factors, such as morning sun or peak hour traffic, affect its appeal. You should also think about how the property can grow with your lifestyle. By having a clear objective, these questions will be easier to answer.
Research your area
Ensure you go to many property open inspections and do your research on the internet before making an offer to ensure you have a good indication on property prices in your desired location. If you find that you cannot afford to buy your dream home in your desired location consider adjacent suburbs that may be more affordable.
Account for all costs after the purchase
A mortgage is a big commitment and you may have to make changes to your regular spending practices if you are to meet your repayments with ease. Many first home owners forget to budget for things they haven’t been used to paying for themselves like electricity, water and other utilities and items such as insurances. Budget for maintenance and even simple things like stocking up the fridge and pantry for the first time – many of the things we take for granted when living at home.
Make sure you do not stretch yourself to your limit
You need to fully understand the impact of your regular spending levels on your new budget. Interest rates move constantly, so you will need to allow room in your budget for interest rate increases and other unforeseen additional spending. When interest rates drop, simply maintaining the same repayment is one of the fastest ways of paying off more of your loan and building a buffer if rates rise again.
Consider options suited to your requirements
Think very carefully about the different loan product offerings available and how these relate to you and your spending habits. There are a number of products on the market and it is important that you find a product that best suits your needs. Consider options that may help you reduce the loan faster to avoid the very expensive costs associated with long term debt. This is where our guidance can be invaluable to you.
If you are in trouble, ask for help
We understand that during the term of your loan, circumstances outside of your control can change, eg illness or losing your job, which could affect your ability to make loan repayments. In many cases we can negotiate a proactive solution if we are given the opportunity to work with your lender to ensure your best interests are taken into consideration.
Be careful who you listen to
You will be given “expert advice” from many of your friends and family during this process. Make sure the advice is backed with evidence and feel free to share this feedback with us. Many people who have never even purchased a home or investment property will offer advice to you.
Owning your own home is one of the most exciting things that you will experience in your lifetime.