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A guide to buying houses

Where do I start when buying property?

Buying property is probably one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. As such, it requires a large amount of consideration. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a six bedroom house on Wolseley Road – or a studio apartment in Tuggeranong, buying property is a very big deal.

Where to start? As a first step, it’s a good idea to work out what your budget is – based on your deposit and how much you can borrow. Luckily, uno has a borrowing power calculator that helps you work out how much you’re working with. We also have a section which details everything you need to know about your borrowing power so be sure to check that out too. 

Securing pre-approval for your expected maximum loan amount will then help you negotiate the best purchase price when it comes time to buy. Once you know your budget, you can begin that exciting home search.

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Steps to buying a home:

  • Step 1: Budget
  • Step 2: Apply for a home loan & get pre-approval
  • Step 3: Find a home
  • Step 4: Bid with confidence
  • Step 5: Celebrate and settle

How much money do I need for a house deposit?

There is no magic number when it comes to a deposit, however in Australia the majority of lenders require you to have saved 10% of the property’s value (a couple of lenders may only require 5%).

How do I calculate a deposit?

This means if you’re looking to buy a residential property with a value of $800,000, you’ll need a deposit somewhere between $40,000 (5% of $800,000) and $80,000 (10%).

If you only have a 5% deposit, be aware that this needs to comprise “genuine” savings – i.e. it’s not dependent on your brother selling his car, or a loan from a friend. These are the things that make lenders nervous. Your deposit will affect how much you are able to borrow from your lender. Please keep in mind that money from a parent or third party is known as a gift and not considered genuine savings.

A rule of thumb is, the smaller your deposit, the more rigid the regulations are on it. If you’ve only got a 5% deposit it has to be genuine savings. if you’ve got 10% or more, a gift (from a parent, for example) can be part of it.

If you’re buying an investment property, lenders tend to be more rigid, with most requiring a deposit of at least 10% of the property’s value.

How much deposit do I need as a first home buyer?

Whether you are buying your first home or your sixth property – and using equity from your previous homes to do so – the rules are still the same. You’ll need at least 5% (and 10% for investors) of the value of the home to put down as a deposit. The same rules apply if you bought a home back in ‘82 and sold it in ‘95, and want to buy a new property in 2018. Just because you’ve done it once, doesn’t mean you get a special deposit discount the second time round.

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How do I buy property with no money down?

If you haven’t saved a deposit but want to buy property, and don’t have a sugar mummy, all is not lost. You’ll need to qualify for what’s known as a guarantor loan. A guarantor is usually a family member who is legally responsible for paying back the entire loan if you cannot – or will not (I will not, I say!) – make the loan repayments.

The guarantor will also have to pay any fees, charges and interest. If you have a direct family member who can act as guarantor and use their property as guarantee, you may be eligible for a guarantor loan. Read more about guarantor loans and how to get a loan with no deposit here.  

Can I get a home loan with a 5% deposit?

These days, it’s recommended home buyers save as much as 20% of the home’s value to put towards a deposit. But raising a 20% home loan deposit makes it challenging for first-time buyers to enter the property market – particularly given the high prices in our capital cities. The good news though, is that under some circumstances you may be able to secure a mortgage with as little as a 5% deposit. You’ll need to meet eligibility criteria and you’ll have to look ‘safe’ on paper to offset the increased risk your high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) presents.

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Typically you’ll need:

  • A clean credit history – on-time repayments on existing debts over at least the last six months
  • A strong asset position – the lender will determine the strength of your assets based on your age and income
  • Stable employment – you will typically need at least six months in your current job, although some exceptions may apply
  • Low personal debt – this figure should not amount to more than five per cent of the value of your property
  • Some genuine savings – this should amount to at least five per cent of the property’s value to make up the shortfall of the loan, and cover the expenses associated with buying a property

What costs are involved in buying a house in NSW?

The costs involved in buying a home differ from state to state, not only because of the variance in house prices but due to things like stamp duty and legal costs – which tend to be higher in metropolitan cities.

How much is stamp duty on a house in NSW?

Using uno’s stamp duty calculator, we can see that the stamp duty on a $32 million house in Wolseley Road, NSW is $2,180,768; whereas on a $322,000 studio apartment in Tuggeranong, ACT it is $6,548.

As well as the stamp duty fee itself, you’ll have to pay a transfer fee and a mortgage registration fee. The transfer fee is usually around $200-$300 and the mortgage registration fee around $100-$150.

Before you exchange contracts with the seller, you’ll want to hire a conveyancer. The legal work involved in preparing the contract of sale for a property (if you’re selling), reading it thoroughly and making any changes (if you’re buying), home loan documents and other related docs, is called conveyancing. Costs will differ depending on who you use, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1500.

Read: Costs involved in buying and selling property 

 

How can I invest with no money?

Really? Sorry bud, you’re going to need some money to invest. Unless you’re Kyle MacDonald. When it comes to buying an investment property, most lenders will want to see a deposit that equates to 10% of the property’s value. In rare cases you might be able to get a guarantor loan, but these are usually reserved for owner/occupiers so don’t get your hopes up.

How much does an average house cost in Australia?

Australian property prices are talked about in Australia more than the weather is in the UK – and that’s saying something. Asking how much an Australian house costs is a bit like asking the cost of a flat white: it really depends on where you are. In Sydney, a flat white is usually around $3.50 although if you go somewhere like Thirroul on the South Coast it’s not uncommon to pay $4. And don’t get me started on Darwin, where a (pretty average, if we’re being honest) latte can set you back $5! Unbelievable! Especially when you can get all-day parking for twice that! Hang on, we’re talking about property aren’t we?

The median property prices in each state change month-to-month, but here’s where they stand, according to February 2018 CoreLogic data:

CITYMEDIAN HOME VALUE
Sydney$880,743
Melbourne$723,334
Brisbane$491,850
Adelaide$433,354
Perth$464,474
Hobart$416,840
Darwin$426,421
Canberra$588,616
Combined capitals$655,768
Combined regional$360,854
National $552,316

 

Looking for more?

Read: Steps to buying a property, which outlines everything you need to know from the heated search to the cooling off period.

 

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uno is an online mortgage broker. The information above is general in nature, and you should always seek professional advice when making financial decisions.

*WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rate is calculated on the basis of a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years.

**  Comparing the mean interest rate of 4.27% among mortgage customers who compare their rate every six months with the mean rate of 4.58% among those who never compare using a $500,000 principal and interest loan over a 30-year period.

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