Buying a house or apartment for the first time?
Buying your first house or apartment can be an overwhelming experience. Finding the right home to buy is hard enough – and that’s only one of the many steps you need to take before you can move in and start living the Great Australian Dream.
With so many things to take care of, the process can be stressful and overwhelming at times.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Here at Hunter Galloway we’ve helped hundreds of first home buyers take that first step into owning property. We’d love to help you do the same.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about buying your first property, or if you’d like to speak to someone you can book a free, no obligations assessment with one of our brokers.
Book a free assessment using the link below and our experienced team of brokers will arrange a time to speak with you about your needs and make sure you can buy your dream home without all of the stress.
Tips for First Home Buyers
Do the groundwork before you start your property search
Before you even start looking at houses, you need to do some groundwork. First and foremost, you need to take a hard look at your finances. You should find out the size of loan that you will qualify for and look at what kind of repayments you can afford without overextending yourself.
It’s also worth taking some time to look at the various grants that are available to you as a first home buyer. For example, the QLD government will give you up to $20,000 if you are buying a new house or apartment.
The best thing to do before you start really searching for a home is to get pre-approval for a home loan. This means that you know exactly how much you can afford to pay and will help you narrow down your search.
Do your research and take your time
Buying the right house takes a lot of consistent hard work and time. If you just go out and buy the first house that you see, chances are that you will get sub-optimal results.
Before you start looking, you should write down a list of what you’re looking for. What area would you like to live in? How many bedrooms? What other features would you like to have? What are you willing to compromise on, and what is a ‘must-have’?
Once you’ve got a good idea of what you’re looking form you should get into a routine of searching for homes. For example, you could dedicate time every evening for research, and plan to dive around and do inspections on weekends.
There are also plenty of resources that you can use to learn more about property purchase. You can research online, read books, or get some advice from an experienced professional.
Prepare for the paperwork
Buying a home involves a lot of paperwork. It’s best to get everything in order before you need it so that you’re not frantically digging around for documents when you have a tight deadline for settlement on your dream home.
Here’s what you will need for your mortgage approval:
- Proof of your monthly income
- Monthly debt payments, including credit card payments, student loans, car loans and any other debt
- A good credit score – best if you know this before you look for a mortgage so that you can know what to expect
- How much deposit you can make
You don't have to do it alone
There are a lot of steps to consider and paperwork to be completed. It can be easy to make a mistake or miss something if you don’t have experience in the process. A good mortgage broker knows the entire process inside out and can help you every step of the way.
At Hunter Galloway, we have helped hundreds of first home buyers like you. We can help you out every step of the way. As an independent broker, we have access to a wide range of lenders and literally hundreds of different products.
The best part is that you don’t need to spend all of that time finding the best loan – we do the legwork for you.
Here’s how a mortgage broker can help you buy your first home:
- Determining your maximum borrowing capacity – during your free assessment, we will be able to help you figure out how much money you can afford to borrow
- Figuring out your repayments – we can also help you to understand how much you can expect to pay in mortgage repayments at various loan amounts. This will ensure you don’t overextend yourself and end up with a loan that you can’t afford
- Identifying unexpected costs – Buying a home costs more than the price of the house itself – there are many fees and expenses that you will come across along the way. We can prepare you for this so there are no surprises
- Eligibility for grants – as a first home owner, you may be eligible for government grants aimed to help first home buyers make their first property purchase. We can evaluate your eligibility and ensure that you maximise your chances of receiving a grant
How to find the right home loan
There are now literally hundreds of different loans available to Australian home buyers through all of the various lenders. If you’re not experienced, it is extremely difficult to sort through all of your options to make sure that you’re getting a loan that’s right for you.
Luckily, you don’t have to. We know everything there is to know about home loans. Based on your unique needs and circumstances, we will compare and contrast your options across all of your available options. We have access to over thirty different lenders, which means you can pick and choose the best loan rather than just accepting whatever your bank gives you.
If your circumstances are a little unusual, we can help you with that too. Here are some of the specialist services that we can offer:
- Specialist loans for professionals – if you’re a doctor or accountant, we can give you access to loans with lower interest rates or get your LMI completely waived. These loans usually aren’t accessible directly.
- Guarantor loans – if you don’t have enough money for a deposit, we can arrange a guarantor loan which could let you borrow up to 105% of the property value
- Unusual employment loans – if you are self-employed or a contractor, it can be more difficult to get a loan. We can help you navigate the process and get approval
Buying a home is stressful enough. Let us do the legwork and find you the right loan so you can focus on what really matters – buying the home of your dreams.
Book a free assessment below for a no-obligation consultation where one of our experienced brokers can talk about your home loan options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the process of applying for a mortgage?
When applying for a mortgage, Hunter Galloway will guide you through so that it is as seamless as possible.
The process of applying for a mortgage is as follows:
Initial meeting, application, loan contracts meeting, settlement preparation, settlement and beyond.
From there, the approval process is:
Conditional approval, formal approval, contract preparation and signing, settlement preparation, settlement.
After settlement, we regularly check up on your loan and provide annual mortgage reviews to ensure you’re still getting the best rates available.
How is interest calculated?
Interest is calculated daily and charged monthly.
Am I eligible for the first home owners’ grant?
The first home owner’s grant as offered in Queensland has the following requirements:
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or applying with someone who is).
- You or your spouse must not have previously owned property in Australia.
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must be buying or building a brand new home, valued under $750,000.
You are buying a new home is a home that:
- has not been previously occupied as a place of residence
- has not been previously sold as a place of residence
- If you’re thinking of buying or building a new home, this could be what gets you started.
How much money can I borrow?
The sum of money you can borrow is determined by reviewing your income, your credit score and a number of other elements so that an accurate measurement of affordable repayments can be determined. This is a case by case basis as it really comes down to your personal circumstances and income.
For the first home owner’s grant, the maximum purchase value is $750,000 so anything over that will not qualify for the grant.
What documentation will I need to apply for a home loan?
When it comes to applying for a home loan, it’s important to have all of your documents ready to go. You will need four different types of documentation: Identification, income, assets, and liabilities. The requirements may vary between lenders, however, the below documents are the standard requirements.
- Identification (100 points)
- Birth certificate (70 points)
- Passport (70 points)
- Citizenship certificates (70 points)
- Diplomatic documents and official documents issued to refugees (70 points)
- Driver’s licence (40 points)
- State or Territory issued photo ID card (40 points)
- Photo ID issued by tertiary education institute (40 points)
- Photo card issued by banking institution where you have been a customer for at least 12 months (40 points)
- Public service ID card including your photo and signature (40 points)
- License or permit issued by State, Territory or Commonwealth government, such as a boating license (40 points)
- Letter confirming your identity from referee you’ve known for at least 12 months (40 points)
- Mortgage documents (35 points)
- Council rates notice (35 points)
- Credit card statement (25 points)
- Foreign driver’s license (25 points)
- Medicare card (25 points)
- Credit card (must have name and signature) (25 points)
- Utility bill with name and current address (25 points)
- EFTPOS card (must have name and signature) (25 points)
If you’re PAYG you will need to provide payslips from the past three months. Bank statements in some cases also suffice.
Those who are self-employed will need to apply for a low documentation loan which requires a copy of your most recent assessment from the ATO with individual tax returns from the last financial year along with your Business Activity Statement (BAS).
Furthermore, if you have multiple forms of income you will need documentation from each one. This includes – rental income, shares, Centrelink income.
Assets and liabilities
Your assets and liabilities will be reviewed in order to effectively assess your financial position.
To separate them, assets are what you own and liabilities are what you owe.
First home buyers will be required to complete separate documentation for the grant. Likewise for those applying with a guarantor. Insurance and valuation of the property will also need to be complete and the insurance policy and valuation report will be required.