Published Wed 11 Dec 2019

Saving for your first home can feel overwhelming, but it is achievable goal.  Follow these steps and you will find yourself in a position to own your first home quicker than you think.

Savings Tips 1. Set a realistic goal
Once you decide to start saving for a property it is important to know what your likely budget will be.  Sure a huge home or beachside location might be your dream, but as you would do with any other project or personal gaol, break down your home dreams into chunks.  Think about getting started at an achievable place in the market to get your foot in the door and then aim to build from there.

2. Develop good saving habits
There are numerous ways that first home buyer can get saving for a house deposit (which ideally is 20% of the purchase price) if you are looking to skip paying mortgage lenders insurance.
  • Establish a  savings plan
  • Set up a high-interest account to deposit savings into and set up recurring automated payments.
  • Pay off any loans, credit cards and hire purchase agreements.
  • Utilize a  budget planner  to keep track  of each of your purchases.  You can then identify where you are overspending and figure out where you can save more.
It’s essential to show a lender that you are good with your money.  Being in the routine of saving consistently not only increases deposit amount, but it also demonstrates good behaviour, which is something that lenders look for when evaluating your ability to repay a loan.

3. Act like you already own a home – save more
In addition to taking the steps above, serious savers plan their finances around already owning a home.
Mortgage repayments are typically significantly more than your rent, and owning a home comes with a variety of other costs that you wouldn’t incur from renting such as maintenance, insurance and council rates.
Organize your monthly budget as if you already have these extra expenses. This will assist you with getting used to the real budget you will need to work with when you own your own home.  It will also help you increase your overall savings.
4.  Lower the rent that you are paying
One of the best ways to save money is to decrease your fixed costs. For example, can you move to a more affordable rental  If you can reduce your outgoings on rent by $100 per week, this will enable you to save an extra $5.2K per year to put towards your deposit.  Or if you (and they!) are keen move back in with your parents, even by paying a small board amount you could be saving what you would otherwise pay in rent and utilities.
5.  Rent out a room or garage
If moving back with mum and dad isn’t an option, is there a spare room in your home?  Or are you able to rent out your garage? Why not look at leasing them for some additional income?  A room could be rented out for up to $200 per week which could generate $10,400 per year.  A garage could be rented up to $70 per week which adds up to $3,640 per year.  This additional income could help you save for a new home FAST. However, make sure that you look at your rental agreement (if renting).  Some agreements do not permit you to sublet your property.
5. Sell your stuff:
How much stuff do you own that you don’t really need? Do you need that old ipad or the second TV that is sitting in the spare room? Wouldn’t it be better to cash in those items that are taking up space and put the money towards a new house with less stuff?

6. Get some professional advice.
Speak to a broker or your bank – they can advise you of what your borrowing options are, what the banks will require for a loan application and how government grants available to FHB, such as the $20,000 Regional First Home Owners Grant at Warralily and Stamp Duty concessions can help fastrack your pathway to home ownership.

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