Stockland’s tips for first-time home buyers on funding, finding or building a dream property.
Buying a house for the first time can be a daunting experience. With budgets, banks and brokers to consider before you can even think of setting foot in your new home, it can be difficult to know where to begin. At Stockland, we’ve helped countless first-time buyers to find the housing option which suits them best. We asked our teams from across Australia for their top home-buying tips, whether you’re looking to fund, find or even build the property of your dreams.
Financing the home-buying process
With home-buying, sometimes the hardest bit comes first. Working out what you can afford, not just today but months or years down the line, can be tricky. It’s important to remember that your outgoings might increase in the future – especially if you’re thinking about starting or adding to a family of your own. As a first step, sit down with your bank or a trusted mortgage broker to get a feel for what sort of funding is available.
“A vital part of the journey is getting pre-approval for a loan,” says Stockland Regional Sales Manager Rob Casotti. “That will guide you when you start looking for the right block of land or house and land package, because you will have a budget you can work with that’s locked in.”
Staying savvy as you negotiate the right deal to finance your plans can help you avoid headaches later on. A good broker can save you thousands of dollars, but don’t be afraid to ask them about the range of financial products they can supply and the commission they’ll earn for selling them to you. Your broker will be your guide through the loan application process – so it’s always wise to check that they’re properly accredited.
At this stage, it’s common for unexpected costs to pop up. Factoring in conveyancing bills, bank fees and mortgage insurance will save you a scramble for extra cash. But should you find that you could do with a helping hand, explore the possibility of applying for stamp duty relief or government grants, such as First Home Buyer Grant. The most eligible properties for grants tend to be brand new builds, like the many news homes available in Stockland’s range of managed communities.
Your New Community
Once you’ve sorted the technicalities, you can get hunting for the property that will best suit your lifestyle and your aspirations. You might already have an image of the dream home in mind, but at this stage it’s vital that you keep your options open. Remember that there’s more to your new home than what is inside those four walls – your neighbourhood will have just as much an effect on your new life as the building itself.
Where are the local opportunities for leisure and pleasure? If you’re looking for the right home for a young family, are there facilities nearby for them to learn and play? Choosing the right community for your lifestyle is always easier – not to mention cheaper – than adapting your lifestyle to fit with your new surroundings.
Many younger buyers are keen to find a place in the heart of a thriving city, but are surprised to find that all the perks of urban living are available elsewhere – and without the added expense. The trick is to go and see as many properties as you can, in as many location as you can – especially where display homes are available for you to try before you buy.
A vital part of the journey is getting pre-approval for a loan. That will guide you when you start looking for the right block of land or house and land package
Of course, buying a house ‘off the peg’ isn’t for everybody. You may prefer to build your own from scratch. At Stockland we’ve matched thousands of aspiring builders with the land they need to construct their dream home, and from experience we know that it’s best to find the right plot before you push ahead with construction. Many lots come with planning provisions and guidelines that may not fit with the house you have in mind. Watch out for hidden costs, like the excavation needed for foundation work on some sloping land.
You’ll also need to find a builder you can trust. Ask friends and family for recommendations, and keep an eye out for qualifications. Builders trained by Master Builders Australia (MBA) or the Housing Industry Association (HIA) will have the expertise required to build your home to high environmental standards – helping you do your bit to save the environment, as well as save on your energy bills.
Entering the property market for the first time can seem arduous. But rest assured, it will get easier from here. Soon enough you’ll be able to sit back and re-lax in the comfort of your own home – comfortable in the knowledge that you’ve crossed everything off your home buying checklist, and sorted yourself the best deal around.