Be a financially fit first home buyer

Many Australians grow up with the aim of owning their own home one day, and with interest rates at their lowest in 50 years, it may be a good time for financially-fit first home buyers to take the plunge.

For most of us, buying a property is probably the biggest financial commitment we will make in our lives, so it’s important to approach it wisely.

By doing your research and following a few guidelines, you’ll be able to turn the great Australian dream into a reality in 2014.

Be clear on what you can afford

It’s important to establish how much you can afford to pay, and what sort of property and location will suit you before entering the property market.

Consider your lifestyle and do your research on the types of properties available to you at your price level.

Visiting open homes, talking to real estate agents and viewing past sales results for the areas you are interested in are all great ways to get a handle on the market.

While this is your first home purchase, it is also important to keep in mind that it is an investment too – access to transport and amenities and lifestyle features will ensure that when you decide to upgrade, your property will be attractive to future buyers.

Review your finances

Before approaching a lender for a home loan it’s a good idea to review your spending habits.

List your income and all expenses, including bills, groceries and entertainment on a budgeting spread sheet or calculator – one such calculator is available at

Make sure you factor in other upfront and ongoing costs involved in buying a property, such as stamp duty, conveyancing and legal fees, strata fees if purchasing a unit, and council rates.

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