explainer

8 things you need to know before you buy a home in 2020.

Lendlease
Thanks to our brand partner, Lendlease

Buying your first home is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make.

After all, it’s probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make.

From new schemes to help with the deposit, to attractive interest rates and other extra incentives, it’s a good time to try and tap into the housing market.

Here are eight things you need to know if you’re in the market to buy – or perhaps build – your own home in 2020.

1. There’s a new scheme available for first-home buyers.

From January 1, 2020, there’s a helpful new scheme available for first-home buyers. The new federal First Home Loan Deposit Scheme allows eligible first-home buyers (who meet a specific criteria) to take out a mortgage by providing just a five per cent deposit.

As most banks usually require a 20 per cent deposit, the scheme will allow first-home buyers to secure a home faster.

The new scheme also means that approved first-home buyers can avoid paying lenders mortgage insurance (LMI), which can cost thousands.

2. The First Home Owner Grant.

Besides the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, there are some other avenues available which assist first-home buyers.

The First Home Owner Grant, which was introduced in 2000, offsets the effect of GST on owning a home.

Although the scheme, which can be worth up to $20,000, is available nationwide, the amount offered to those buying a home varies between states and territories. (You can find out more about the First Home Owner Grant here.)

3. Keep a close eye on interest rates.

In October 2019, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut official interest rates to a record low 0.75 per cent. Thanks to the significant cut to interest rates, many banks are now offering low home loan rates.

To figure out the best time to buy, it’s super important to keep a close eye on interest rates – and compare your options.

4. Stamp duty exemptions.

For some first-home buyers, a stamp duty exemption may be available.

A partial or full exemption can lower the tax you pay when purchasing your property, which considerably cuts costs.

Much like the First Home Owner Grant, however, the rules vary between states and territories.

In New South Wales, for example, first-time homeowners are exempt from stamp duty if the value of the home is under $650,000.

5. Look into new communities.

When searching for the right area for you, consider looking into new communities or visiting display homes for off-the-plan properties.

After all, when you buy your first home, you also buy into your very first community. Lendlease is building new communities in most states, with new facilities like parks, community centres, shopping centres and also land, if you’re looking to build. Building brand new can give you the freedom you want to create a ‘forever home’ that’s part of a growing community.

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“We take a holistic approach to master planning,” Simon Basheer, Lendlease Residential General Manager of Sales says. “We focus on lifestyle and community benefits that provide a strong sense of belonging for new residents.”

Queensland is home to a number of new communities including Elliot Springs, Springfield Rise and Yarrabilba, while New South Wales is home to Calderwood Valley and Bingara Gorge.

There are also new communities in Victoria, including Harpley, Aurora and Atherstone as well as Alkimos Beach and Alkimos Vista in Western Australia.

6. Consider extra incentives.

Looking into new communities is also beneficial as developers often offer deals and extra incentives that could save you money on your first home.

These incentives may include vouchers for new furniture, help covering stamp duty and savings on select blocks.

In the Lendlease communities mentioned above, additional incentives include stamp duty on land being covered at Calderwood Valley and Bingara Gorge; $10,000 off selected lots at Alkimos Beach, Alkimos Vista, Aurora, Atherstone, Elliott  Springs and Harpley; and a $10,000 housewarming  gift for properties purchased at Springfield.

7. Think five years ahead.

While it’s important to consider what you can afford now, it’s also smart to think ahead. After all, the purchase price is just the beginning when it comes to owning a home.

To make sure you’re prepared to buy a home, be sure to consider all of the costs that are associated with owning a home, including insurance and maintenance.

It’s also a good idea to consider your long-term plans – do you plan on changing jobs soon? Are you planning on having children? Do you need a home office space? Are you interested in the schools in the local area?

8. Ask for help from experts.

When it comes to buying a property, there’s no denying that the process can be a little… confusing.

With a home being one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, it’s important to surround yourself with experts and get professional advice throughout the process.

It’s worth speaking to a financial adviser to find out what you can afford, or working with a mortgage broker. A respected property developer can also help provide guidance on purchasing a property or land, and advise on the best route to take to match your individual needs and requirements when purchasing your first home.

Their knowledge can help guide you through the ins and outs of the process, and ultimately, help you make choices that work for you.

What tips do you have to share from looking to buy a home? Let us know below.

Feature Image: Getty.

Lendlease

Lendlease has been creating communities for over 50 years. We are committed to creating beautiful and sustainable environments where people can live and work safely while engaging with their community.

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