Buying a house

By You and Money

There are many financial and other decisions that you need to make around housing. You need to choose between buying a house and renting. Then if you decide to buy, you need to understand the home buying process, what’s involved in taking out a home loan, and the many other steps you need to take before you finally move in. It’s worth taking the time to learn a bit more about the whole thing before you make any big commitments.

Buying a home

Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial decisions– it’s a huge investment, both emotionally and financially. So if you’re looking to buy, here are some things you’ll need to consider.

  • Make sure you can afford all the costs, including up front costs like stamp duty, legal fees and ongoing costs like loan repayments, rates and insurance.
  • Work out how much you need for a deposit.
  • If you’re a first time home buyer, you may be eligible for the government’s First Home Owner Grant.
  • Make sure you know how much you can afford in repayments.

For more information, check out the PC Home Buying Guide: www.policecredit.com.au/Img/PDFs/PC_Home_Buyers_Guide.pdf

Applying for a home loan

Before you apply for a home loan, make sure you have all the information that your lender will want, including:

  • how much you want to borrow
  • how much of a deposit you have and where it’s coming from
  • your savings history
  • your regular expenses
  • how long you’ve been in your current job
  • a list of your assets
  • proof of your identity, age, marital status and dependants.

Asking questions at this stage will help you find the loan that’s best for you. Here are some examples, but you’ll think of lots of others.

  • What’s the interest rate?
  • What are the repayments?
  • Can I make additional repayments and more frequent repayments?
  • What are the application and ongoing monthly fees?
  • Will I need mortgage insurance?
  • Can I put my First Home Owner Grant towards the deposit?
  • Do you have redraw and offset facilities?
  • Can I split the loan into fixed and variable interest rates?
  • When will the money be available?
  • What are the exit fees?

For more information on buying a home, read this practical guide: www.abacus.org.au/images/stories/publications/take-control/bricks_mortar_2008.pdf

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