Help for Brisbane’s First Homebuyers!
Looking to buy your first home in Brisbane? Your Property Hound Buyers Agents provides some Help for Brisbane’s First Homebuyers!
1. Seek Expert Help
If we were to give just one piece of advice, it would be to surround yourself with a trusted group of experts BEFORE you begin searching for property. Mortgage brokers, buyer’s agents, building and pest inspectors, and solicitors have the knowledge and experience that first home buyers lack.
An expert team will provide independent advice that you can trust. It will save you time and money in the long run, and most importantly it will give you the peace of mind and confidence to make an offer once a suitable property has been found.
2. Be clear (and realistic!) about your budget and requirements
- Budget: A good mortgage broker will be able to advise you on how much of a deposit you need, and how much money you can borrow. Make sure that your loan repayments will be affordable, taking into account any potential changes to your income or employment. It is worthwhile obtaining a formal pre-approval from your lender BEFORE beginning your property search.
- Suburbs/areas: Think about where you would like to live and where you can afford to buy. First homebuyers often have unrealistic expectations. This can be frustrating when no suitable properties are found in your location and budget. A buyers agent can very quickly determine a list of suitable suburbs based on your criteria and budget, saving an enormous amount of time and emotional energy.
- Property Type: What type of property are you looking for? A unit, townhouse, or house? Are you happy to renovate? What are your minimum requirements in terms of bedrooms, bathrooms and block size? Which (if any) criteria are you prepared to compromise on? Use these criteria to shortlist suitable properties to inspect.
3. Perform Due diligence
Once you have determined your criteria, perform comprehensive due-diligence on the area itself, as well as any specific properties of interest:
- Find out about transport options, schools, shops and local amenities. Learn about the location of busy roads and social housing; and research crime levels.
- Flooding is a major concern in most Brisbane suburbs, so always remember to perform a flood search. A home backing onto a creek may look beautiful when you inspect it; less so when your furniture is floating in it!
4. Understand the costs of buying a property
Many first homebuyers forget that there are additional costs associated with purchasing a home. These may include:
- Government Stamp Duty: The Queensland government offers a discount to some first homebuyers depending on the purchase price of the property:
- For purchases up to $500,000: No stamp duty is payable
- For purchases between $500,000 and $550,000: Stamp duty is discounted
- For purchases above $550,000: No Stamp Duty discount is offered
- more information can be found on the Queensland Government’s website: click here
- Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI): LMI may be payable if your deposit is less than 20% of the purchase price. The cost of LMI varies depending on your deposit and loan amount. The cost of LMI is often several thousand dollars and is usually added to your mortgage (rather than paid upfront).
- Building and Pest Inspection. The cost of a building and pest inspection in Brisbane is generally around $500-700.
- Conveyancing: The total cost of conveyancing (professional fees plus searches) is generally around $1200-1600.
- Bank fees: Bank fees vary widely so it is best to check with your broker/lender.
5. Government incentives for first home buyers – Are you eligible?
State Government – First Homebuyers Grant: The Queensland Government offers first homebuyers a $20,000 cash incentive to buy (or build) a BRAND NEW property. The grant applies to home purchases up to $750,000. There were no changes to the first home owner grant in the recent State Budget (and the grant is still available after 30 June 2019). For more information click here
Federal Government – First Home Super Saver Scheme: Designed to help first home buyers save for a deposit by allowing them to make voluntary contributions into their super fund, which can later be withdrawn (including any earnings) to help fund their home purchase. A maximum of $30,000 can be contributed to the scheme over 2 or more years. For more information click here
Federal Government – First Home Loan Deposit Scheme: The recently elected Coalition government has also promised to help first homebuyers get into the property market with a deposit as low as 5%. They will do this by providing a government guarantee for 15% of the loan. The scheme is designed to help buyers enter the market sooner, and to avoid having to pay costly mortgage lenders insurance. For more information click here
A few last important tips. Keep emotions under control particularly if you are buying your property at auction. Stress can have a huge impact on your actions, particularly in a high-pressure situation. Make sure you make an informed decision to avoid spending more than you can afford on a property that you doesn’t necessarily suit!
And last but not least, don’t be impatient, finding the right property takes time and should be an enjoyable experience, don’t rush it!
Do not hesitate to contact Your Property Hound to find out more about how we can help Brisbane’s first homebuyers. Feel free to contact us for an obligation free consultation.