4 steps to take now for buying your first home in 2024

Thinking about purchasing your own home this year? How exciting!

The dream of homeownership is facing some new challenges, especially for those in their twenties. Recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows the rate of young adults owning a home dropped from 50% in 1971 to only 36% in the latest 2021 Census. Even for those aged 30–34, it fell from 64% to 60%.

But the dream of having your own home is still very much alive!

Here are 4 steps that you can take now, to put you on the path to buying your future home:

1. Start saving early and be smart with money 

Begin your journey to owning a home by saving money wisely. Consider following the 50:30:20 rule – put half your income toward essential items like food and rent, then split the rest between fun stuff (holidays, eating out) and savings. Following this rule has the potential to help you save consistently, no matter how much you make.

Build good money habits with simple changes, like cooking at home instead of ordering takeout, biking to work to save on petrol, or choosing home get-togethers over expensive outings to save up for your home deposit!

Learn more on how you can save for your deposit here.

2. Use credit wisely to avoid debt

Credit cards can be handy, but don’t go overboard. Missing payments or racking up too much debt not only messes with your finances but also hurts your credit score. A bad credit score can make it tough to get the right home loan when you find your dream home!

3. Consider all the costs of buying a home 

Buying your first home means dealing with more costs than just your mortgage. Think about all the associated costs such as:

  • Stamp duty: Stamp duty is a one-off state government tax that’s based on the purchase price of the property.
  • Legal and conveyancing fees: Get a conveyancer, specialised in real estate legalities, to manage paperwork, including the Deed of Transfer. They can address inquiries about property zoning and technical details
  • House inspection and cleaning costs: Once you pick a home, hire professionals to check its condition. This helps you know what maintenance it needs and how much it might cost. Don’t forget the expenses for cleaning and fixing up the property. A cheap deal might turn into a money pit if you go for a fixer-upper!

4. Get help from a mortgage broker

As a mortgage broker, our role is to work closely with a panel of lenders — from the big banks, to the smaller lenders you may not be as familiar with — to ‘shop around’ in the home loan market on your behalf. But our job isn’t just about comparing home loans. We stay on top of market trends and changing lender requirements, so you can be confident in the recommendations we provide.

Even before you are ready to buy a home, we can offer valuable support by explaining the home buying process and working with you to ensure you achieve your property goals.

So, if you’re planning on making your home ownership dreams a reality this year, get in touch to team up with us today! 

5 rules successful property investors follow

The wonderful thing about property investing is that it opens your world up to different ways to potentially build your wealth.

However, Australian Taxation Office figures released last June showed that a quarter of Australia’s property investments are held by 1% of taxpayers. The majority of those investors are over the age of 50.

If you don’t fit into this category, all hope isn’t lost! You can still approach property investment strategically now by following these 5 common rules successful property investors abide by.

1. They plan strategically

Successful property investors have a clear understanding of their investment strategy and long-term goals.

They know how much risk they are prepared to take on and this helps them to decide on the type of property investment that’s right for them.

They understand their borrowing capacity, stick to their budget and plan for contingencies (like major repairs) to avoid overstretching financially.

2. They understand volatility

As a property investor, it’s important not to panic at the first sign of a downturn or change in the market.

Experienced property investors understand that often the best gains are made over the long-term. Sometimes it pays to ride out the storm and prioritise sustainable growth over quick gains.

Knowledgeable investors also diversify. That might mean buying in different states or territories in order to mix things up and mitigate risk.

In 2023, we saw why diversification was so important, with the rate of home value growth varying greatly across the capital cities. Values rose at more than 1% each month on average across Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane after May, while in Melbourne and Sydney the pace of growth slowed sharply after the June cash rate hike.

3. They don’t procrastinate

If you wait and wait until the perfect time to invest, you may end up missing the boat.

Savvy property investors do their research and set their cards up, so that when an opportunity arises, they are ready to act. Having your finance pre-approved and ready to go is a great place to start.

4. They keep emotions out of their decisions

Property investment is about buying with your head, not your heart. Successful property investment requires a strategic approach, focusing on data and long-term returns rather than personal preferences. Remember, it’s your tenants who will make a home of the property, not you.

Investors who thrive in the property market are those who approach their investments with the acumen of a businessperson, focusing on the numbers and potential for growth.

This approach includes staying informed yet discerning, filtering through the noise of speculative media narratives to focus on solid, evidence-based decision-making.

5. They rely on specialists

Successful property investors know there’s only so far self-education can take them. You can listen to property investment podcasts and learn as much as you can from property investment books, but you’ll still need the right specialists to guide you through your property investment journey.

Mortgage brokers, real estate agents, financial planners, accountants, conveyancers, buyers’ agents, property managers – all of these professionals may help you make better, considered informed decisions.

Looking to invest in 2024?

Whether you’re new to property investing or want to grow your existing portfolio, we’re here to support you. 

Talk to us about getting pre-approved on your finance so that you’re ready to start 2024 on a high – with an investment property purchase. Get in touch today.

Refinancing a home loan: the process explained

When you’re busy with life, refinancing can seem like a hassle. However, with a mortgage broker to guide you through the process, it doesn’t have to be!

Refinancing may allow you to switch to a more competitive home loan, thereby potentially saving you money in interest.

It can also help you achieve other goals, like using different finance options to renovate your property or consolidating your debt and paying it off more efficiently. You may even consider refinancing to access equity to buy an investment property or another big-ticket item like a pool.

Here are the steps involved in the refinancing process:

Step 1: Work out your financial goals

Do you want to find a loan with a lower interest rate? Perhaps you’d like to explore some of the interest-saving loan features that are available nowadays, like offset accounts and redraw facilities?

It’s important to understand what your financial goals are so that we can help you to access the finance you need to achieve them.

Step 2: Compare home loan options 

Next, it’s time to do some research.

Trying to understand all the different home loan options available and consulting with different lenders can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Instead, get us to do the hard yards for you.

We can explain which home loans may be suitable and help you narrow down your options.

Step 3: Submit your loan application

Once you’ve decided which home loan is right for you, we’ll take care of your mortgage application.

Just like when you applied for your original loan, you’ll need to supply certain documents. These usually include identification, proof of income, home loan statements, and records of living expenses, liabilities and assets.

The new lender may also require a property valuation. This helps them to determine how much they are willing to lend you.

Step 4: Discharge your existing loan and settle your new one 

When your chosen lender approves your new loan, we will let your current lender know you plan to discharge, or pay out, your existing loan.

We’ll keep you informed throughout the settlement process and let you know when your new lender has paid out your old loan.

Step 5: Start making repayments

After settlement, you’ll receive documentation explaining the ins and outs of your new loan. Then, it’s time to start making repayments.

All up, for most cases the process of refinancing usually takes anywhere from four to eight weeks. The timeline depends on the lender, how quickly you submit the required paperwork and the strength of your application. Some lenders may offer a fast-tracked service.

Ready to get started?

As you can see, refinancing may not be as hard you think. If you’re interested in comparing what loan options are available for you, get in touch with us today.