Can you afford your first home?

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, there’s no better time to act. With Perth’s property market favoring buyers and interest rates at record lows, you’re in a better position than ever to achieve your dream of home ownership. Here are our top five tips for getting started!

1. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION, INCLUDING MODERATION

You don’t have to sacrifice your entire lifestyle to save up for your deposit, and in fact you’re likely to be better off if you’re still enjoying yourself at least a little!

Moderate adjustments to your lifestyle, such as giving up your morning coffee, can really add up, ensuring you are able to regularly save a pre-decided amount. It’s important to make it a realistic amount; if you aim to save too much and try to live on two-minute noodles, you won’t stick to it. Weigh up the lifestyle you want versus what you really need; maybe that morning coffee is a necessity, but you’re not using that gym membership anyway.

2. MANAGE EXPECTATIONS

Even in a buyer’s market where you have your pick of properties, it can be challenging to keep an eye on what you can afford. Don’t fall into the trap of unrealistic expectations about the number of bedrooms or stunning waterfront views. Instead of focusing on a brand new home with all the trimmings, make a list of features you cannot live without.

Try not to be too restrictive, and consider looking at properties that you can adapt how you like later. It’s more important to get your foot in the real estate market door in a good location than to hold out for your dream 5 bedroom 3 bathroom house with a scullery!

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3. BUY SMART FOR LONG-TERM GAIN

You have a list of the most important things to you, and undoubtedly an idea of the ideal location to begin your new phase as a homeowner. However as with your expectations of the house itself, you need to be realistic and smart about the location. By taking a long-term view, you should be able to capitalize on the long-term growth of the area and leverage that into your future real estate investments.

By adjusting your rose-tinted glasses and keeping your budget firmly in mind, you may find that your ideal property, in the ideal suburb, may not be your first home, but it won’t be out of reach forever.

4. BE CAREFUL WITH THE FHOG

At present, Western Australia’s first home owner grant only applies to new builds, aiming to stimulate new housing. While understandable from the government’s point of view, it can deter those who are relying on it from considering lower-priced, second-hand homes in superior locations.

If accessing the FHOG is critical to your budget, one option is to buy a new apartment. You could still benefit from the FHOG, while getting into a good area, close to amenities.

6. GET IN EARLY

We have said it before and it’s worth repeating; success in real estate comes down to time in the market, not timing the market. The sooner you purchase your property and the longer you hold it, the better it can perform as an investment.

The same goes for saving money. If you have been taught early in life about saving, and made the effort to regularly hoard a portion of your pocket money, by the time you’re in your early twenties, you should have a decent deposit. Even without that head start, the sooner you begin, the better off you’ll be. Just remember the golden rule from tip 1: make it realistic so you can stay focused while making the most of your youth!

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If you want more information about property investing, why not read our Get Ready to Invest in Property eBook.

If you’re not sure what type of strategy would best for you or you would like to learn more about different strategies, why not download our 4 Strategies to Success fact sheet.

Or, if you’re ready to talk about buying your first home, why not complete our Getting Started form to get the ball rolling.

Need finance?

If you’re ready to invest and you’ve got any questions about finance, call us for a free Financial Health Check: 08·9381·7450 or download our Finance Services information.

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