Do your research
The more time you spend researching your perfect property, the fewer headaches you’re likely to have later down the track. Consider issues such as:
- Own or rent: Are you buying a home for your family or to rent out? If you’re considering renting, think about what your target renters are looking for. Check out sites like Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au to see what’s available.
- Location: Is the house you plan to buy near amenities like schools and shops? How much do properties cost in your chosen location?
- Deposit: You’ll need a deposit of at least 20% if you want to avoid Lenders Mortgage Insurance, so it’s good to consider a savings strategy.
- Other costs: Buying a house involves other expenses such as legal fees, removal costs, stamp duty and loan application fees. If you’re a first-time buyer you may be entitled to the First Home Owners Grant.
- Budget: Working out your home loan finances can be complicated and it’s important to understand what effect your repayments will have on your household budget. Using a repayment calculator makes life easier.
- Contingency: If you’re in the Defence forces, you’ll need to consider how you’ll manage your finances while you’re deployed and ensure you have enough savings to cover your home loan while you’re away.
Compare home loans
So you’ve found the house, you’ve decided your budget – now comes the tricky part. Which home loan gives you the best rates and suits your lifestyle?
It’s easy to get lost in home loan jargon such as fixed rates, variable rates, redraw and offset. That’s why we’ve created a simple home loan comparison tool, which lets you compare loans quickly and easily.
We’ve got loans for first-time buyers, renovators and investors, and we have a range of special DHOAS home loans just for people in the Defence forces.
Our expert, friendly advisers are also available to chat through any questions you may have – call us on 1300 13 23 28.
Apply for a loan
Applying for a home loan doesn’t have to be stressful; in fact, our process is super simple and straightforward. Whether you’re after pre-approval or formal approval, we’re here to help. You can enquire online, at one of our branches, by phone or you can make an appointment with a mobile banker to visit you.
You’ll need to provide details of your income, expenses, assets, other loans and credit cards. And, if you’re thinking about applying for a DHOAS loan, you’ll need to get a subsidy certification from the Department of Veterans' Affairs first.
Buy, buy, BUY!
In Australia there are two main ways to buy a property: auction or private sale. Before you take the plunge, it’s important to understand the differences.
A quick, exciting and sometimes scary way to buy a property, auctions allow prospective buyers to bid on a property on a given day. It should be noted that:
- All your inspections and reports must be done before the auction
- Most sellers have a minimum price they’ll accept (the reserve) but you won’t know what it is until it’s reached
- There’s no ‘cooling-off’ period – if you’re successful at the auction you can’t change your mind
- Generally you’ll need to pay the full deposit on the day.
Sometimes known as private treaties, these types of sales are usually negotiated with the seller via an estate agent. Slower than auctions, they give you more opportunity to consider your options. With private sales:
- You’ll know the asking price up front but it can rise if a number of people make offers
- Most states and territories have a ‘cooling-off’ period that enables you to complete your inspections and withdraw your offer if you’re not happy
- Once your offer is accepted you’re usually required to pay a full deposit when you’ve exchanged contracts
With either option it’s a good idea to speak to a conveyancer or solicitor before making an offer.
With some proper planning, moving house can actually be an enjoyable experience. Here are some things to add to your check list:
- Contact all utilities: Let them know when you’re moving and your new address; don’t forget to read the meters at your old and new houses.
- Set up a redirect: You can easily organise a redirect for all your post at the post office.
- Plan your removals: Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring some help, be sure to:
- Label all boxes clearly with the room they need to go into
- Wrap delicate items in bubble wrap
- Use butchers paper rather than newspaper to wrap plates (no washing newsprint off your dishes)
- Pack things like the kettle, tea bags and champagne glasses separately so you can celebrate as soon as you move in!
Enjoy your new home
Living with a mortgage can take a little getting used to. Here are some simple tips to make it easier:
- Set up automatic repayments: Match your repayments to your salary payments so your home loan repayment is the first item to get paid each month, week or fortnight.
- Make extra repayments: Many of our loans allow you to make extra repayments at no additional cost – so consider using that tax return cash or bonus to pay off your loan faster.
- Pay a little more: By adding a few extra dollars to your required repayments you can make a big dent in your home loan.
- Consider offset: If you’ve chosen a loan with an offset facility, you can use your savings to reduce the amount of interest you pay.
Owning your own home can be a hugely rewarding experience – so if you’re ready to take the next step, talk to us today.