Saving for your first property

While there’s been lots of noise in Australia in the last decade that owning your first home is becoming the unattainable dream for many young people, in capital cities especially. More than 65% of people aged 18-25 still say that saving to buy a home is in their top 10 goals for their 20s.  We’ve put together some tips to help you get started and for most people, owning a home is very much an achievable dream.

 

  1. Be realistic

The chances are, this won’t be your forever home, it may not be perfect, but it’ll be yours. Embrace it! The community you choose to live in is more important than the property itself. Renovations can perfect imperfections, however, it’s extremely difficult to pick up the house of your dreams and move it to a different suburb.

  1. Save more, pretend you own the home already

When budgeting, save as if you’re already paying off a mortgage, council rates, bills and maintenance. You’ll save heaps faster and will be fully prepped for when you’re in your new place. Cut back on the extras, do you really need that third bottle of wine? Or that artisan extra-large Frappuccino on your break? Think of the money saved (and the calories). Emotions are a huge part in saving money, do not make yourself suffer. Suffering=splurging. If you only eat Heinz beans, don’t force yourself through the home brand version to save 10c, you are still allowed to enjoy life. Otherwise, what’s the point?

  1. First home buyers’ scheme

This year, the new government scheme will allow the first 10,000 low- to middle-income first homeowners to have their mortgage insurance waived when you have 5-20% deposit. It’s expected to cut deposit saving time by half or more! This first home buyers scheme removes the LMI (lenders mortgage insurance) for individuals earning up to $125k and couples up to $200k per year. There are capital city price caps (see below). Capital city and regional centres are classified as populations greater than 250,000 – namely the Gold Coast, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, the Sunshine Coast, Illawarra (Wollongong) and Geelong.

New South Wales

  • Rest of state 450k
  • Capital city and regional centres 700k

Victoria

  • Rest of state 375k
  • Capital city and regional centres 600k

Queensland

  • Rest of state 400k
  • Capital city and regional centres 475

Western Australia

  • Rest of state 300k
  • Capital city and regional centres 400k

South Australia

  • Rest of state 250k
  • Capital city and regional centres 400k

Tasmania

  • Rest of state 300k
  • Capital city and regional centres 400k

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

  • Rest of state N/A
  • Capital city and regional centres 500k

Northern Territory

  • Rest of state N/A
  • Capital city and regional centres N/A
  1. Get on top of your debts

Clear your debts first, purchase your home second. Living at mum’s isn’t so bad after all. There’s always the option to carry on renting until the grey cloud is gone too. Whether the debt is small or large, it’s best to invest with a clean slate. Buying a home is one of the biggest commitments you’ll have to face, it’s the right idea to make the commitment without out debt lingering like a bad smell in the back of your mind.

  1. Parental assistance

Assistance from a parent can come in lots of forms – anything from an upfront injection of cash to give you a kick start on saving a deposit. Most parents would find it difficult or be unwilling to give big unplanned cash amounts, so your parents might be willing to go as guarantor on your home loan or use equity in their own houses in order to help you avoid any fees for lower than 20% deposits.

In 2020, the most common form of parental assistance is a roof over your head. If you’re already living out of home, rent may be your single biggest expense. Saving the rent and putting it towards a deposit on a house adds up quickly. In some cases, it may take you only 3-6 months to save a deposit from zero!

 

Whatever the pathway you decide to take, the easiest way to save a deposit is often to make small changes across several areas rather than trying to make just one change to do all the heavy listing. Making small changes to your lifestyle today will have enormous impacts on your lifestyle as you go through life. Over a lifetime, housing is one of the biggest expenses and people who own their home get a head start on growing their wealth over their life.

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