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Owning your dream home in 9 easy steps

| | 3 minute read

There might be one thing worse than being outbid for your “dream” property – not being able to bid at all because your finances aren’t in order. This is a sadly familiar story for those who want to buy a home they see on a property website but can’t move quickly enough to secure it.

We all know that buying real estate can come with as much uncertainty as it does excitement. It can be a process that leads to pleasure and security, or heartache and financial ruin. Even once you pin down the ideal property, it can be hard to know where to find all of the contractual trapdoors and financial slippery slides.

Consumer Affairs Victoria publishes a checklist of 15 things for prospective property buyers to help them avoid disaster. It covers areas such as property inspections, auction strategies and conveyancing, but the top list item is ensuring buyers have a budget in mind and that their finances are in place.

What stumps many buyers is knowing what is involved in the actual process of securing finance. Unless you’re an investor, securing a loan to buy property is something you might do just once or twice in your lifetime. It’s strange and scary territory for even the hardiest of souls. How much can I borrow? What fees will I need to pay? How much will it all cost?

A good start for finance hunters is signing up for uno Home Loans, which helps homebuyers compare hundreds of loan products from major and specialist lenders. With the help of a uno mortgage specialist, they can choose a loan package that best suits their circumstances.

Tim Bowcock, uno’s head of mortgage services, has prepared a series of simple steps that shows how uno can help prospective buyers move from property dreamers to homeowners.

  • You apply and provide documents to verify your application information. This would include things such as photo ID, payslips and bank statements.
  • We secure pre-approval for the expected maximum loan amount. This will help you negotiate the best purchase price.
  • You find a property you want to purchase and negotiate a mutually agreeable price with the vendor.
  • We instruct the lender to perform their property valuation, and then convert your pre-approval into a formal (unconditional) approval.
  • You pay 10 per cent deposit from your savings (if necessary, for a fee, deposit bonds can be used in place of cash) and sign the Contract of Sale. This is referred to as “Contract Exchange”.
  • We instruct the lender to prepare the mortgage and loan contracts, check these documents and forward them to you for signing. If this is your first mortgage it would be advisable to have your conveyancer explain these documents in detail.
  • You sign the documents and return them to us or directly to the lender.
  • We ensure the funds are ready for settlement by co-ordinating between the incoming and outgoing lender (if there is one).
  • You take possession of the property on settlement day and commence making loan repayments within one month. This is referred to as “Settlement”.

“uno is there to help you, seven days a week,” Bowcock says. “Think of us like a personal trainer for home buying – your mortgage coach.”

Image: BresicWhitney

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Peter Gearin is a writer and former senior editor at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald. Now director of Top to Tale Media, he writes for unohomeloans.com.au.

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