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The great Australian dream is to find your own piece of paradise and mould it into a sanctuary where families can grow and live life to its fullest.

Buying that home can also be one of our most confusing moments because there is so much to consider; we need to understand the contract, who does our conveyancing, whether we need to get pre-approval and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. ……..phew! We’ve put together three simple tips for buying your first home.

For first time buyers in particular, it is very important to get the right advice before you take the home loan plunge. It is always far easier to make any decision when you are armed with all the facts and information, especially as a home loan is a 20 to 30 year financial commitment.  Take your time to consider your options and talk to family, friends, real estate agents or your financial institution.

Some tips for home buyers that should be considered during the decision process include:

  1. Figure out what you can afford and set a budget.  There are lots of handy online calculators available that break down your mortgage into weekly or monthly repayment amounts and how much you can afford to borrow.
  2. Look at any money you owe on credit cards and personal loans.  Consider consolidating debt if it will save you money.  Remember any existing debt will reduce your borrowing capacity.
  3. Get to know the areas you are looking at buying into.  Visit open homes to get a feel for the properties on offer and walk or drive around the neighbourhood after dark or at different times of the day.

The same principals apply for anyone who currently holds a mortgage on their own home or investment property. If it’s not the best fit for you, the mortgage may be costing you a lot more than you think.

With the current interest rates being at their lowest in a long time, now is the perfect time to reach out to your financial institution.  There might be a better mortgage option that suits your current (or future) situation better or a special home loan rate on offer that might be worth switching to.