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10 Essential Tips for Buying a House in Australia

Buying a house anywhere is challenging. It’s even more challenging when you’re looking to buy in a divine place such as Australia.  

With its pristine beaches, hip cosmopolitan areas, and unique culture, Australia is a must-see destination. It’s no wonder you’re looking to live here. 

We put together ten tips for buying a house in Australia to help the transition. 

1. Make Sure You’re Ready and Approved

The idea of buying a house is glorious. it’s one of the biggest steps of adulthood. But if that step is plagued with financial issues, what should be cause for celebration can turn into a nightmare.

Before you set your sights on which house on the block you’ll be living in, get approved for a loan. Know how much you can borrow and start planning your budget based on that amount. 

2. Research Which Loans are Available

Just because you get approved for one loan, doesn’t mean it’s the best one for you. Loans can be complicated. Research what’s out there so you know. 

It’s important to understand the difference between fixed and variable rate loans, and interest only and FHOG loans. Depending on your situation, one may be more ideal than the other. 

  • Variable Interest Rate Loans- Good for amortized market conditions where the borrower feels like interest rates could fall. 
  • Fixed Interest Rate loans- Good for market conditions where an increase in interest rates is expected. 
  • Interest only loans- The borrower is only responsible for the interest of that particular month. Often times, interest-only loans are only fixed for a certain duration of time. Once that period ends, the borrower is responsible for paying a much higher portion than the interest they were originally paying. 
  • FHOG Loans- If you’re a first-time borrower, much like in the US, the Australian government offers options and financial aid. The First Homeowner Grant is great if you’re new to the housing game. 

3. Make Sure You’re Debt Free

When considering buying a house, timing is everything. Even if you qualify for a loan, you need to decide whether you can afford it in the long run or not.

You also have to decide whether waiting and paying off some of your debt would improve the terms of your loan and make for less of a financial strain. 

All debts aren’t created equal. For example, the HECS debts are much less damaging to your interest rates than credit card debt. 

Start by paying off any high-interest debts that you’re accruing. The last thing you want hanging over your head when you’re paying interest is more interest. 

You don’t have to make sure that you’re entirely debt free, you just have to make sure that you’re managing your debt intelligently. 

4.Weigh Your Costs and Gather Your Breaks 

Buying a home is all about planning.  Map out every detail prior. From the application fees to the cost of renovations, cost of insurance. The list goes on.

It’s not just about the loans themselves, but the expenses after the loans.  They can make or break your budget. 

Don’t let that deter you. There are plenty of ways to restore balance to your budget even after compiling your expenses. 

Remember that there are many resources out there, especially for first-time homeowners. You can’t take advantage of those resources if you don’t take time to search for them. 

Before you begin the application process, make sure you know what type of aid you can receive. 

5. The Early Bird Gets the Worm

In this case, the most prepared get the house. It’s wise to have all of your ducks in a row. If you know what house you want, you should already be pre-approved. It gives you an advantage and streamlines the process for realtors. 

Realtors want to sell houses. The easier a candidate makes that process, the more likely they are to win the bidding process. 

Have all of your paperwork together. Make sure you’re not wasting your deposit money on frivolous expenses. It’s not just about making their job easier. It’s about taking the stress off of your shoulders as well. 

6. Don’t Rush Your Decision 

The anticipation and excitement that comes with the thought of purchasing a home can be overwhelming. Don’t let that excitement cloud your deliberation process. Sometimes the sexiest home on the block will have the most issues. 

Understand the severity of the decision you’re making. Do your homework so that you can make sure its the right one. 

You’re responsible for investigating the security of your investment. Get pest inspections. Building Inspections.

Whatever you can to ensure you’re getting what you paid for. 

Investing in a home isn’t something that disappears in 5 or 6 years. In many cases, it’s a life long commitment. Make sure you’re sold and it will be one of the happiest experiences of your life.  

7. Make Life Easier with a Larger Downpayments 

The idea of 0% down may sound enticing. You don’t have to pay for anything! But when you’re thinking about buying a house, plan for the long term. 

Save up a good sized investment and take the pressure off. Procrastination is never an advisable approach, especially when discussing the possibility of buying a home.

20% down payment is your best option. 5-10% options exist, but they are a pain and require extra expenses such as higher homeowner’s insurance rates. The more burden you take on now, the less you’ll have to carry in the future. 

8. Get Help 

With such an important decision at hand, you want to know that you’re making the correct one. 

Enlisting help from professionals such as mortgage brokers and buyers’ agents can help you feel like you’re in the right hands. Conveyancers can look through your contract to make sure it’s fair. 

Don’t be too proud or distrusting to look for help from people whose careers depend on delivering their business promises to you the right way.

Make sure to do your homework on which agents are the most experienced and have the best track record. 

9.Understand Your Vision 

If you’re looking to buy a home, it’s important to know what is realistic and what is not. Businesses like Villa World can help your vision become a reality while managing your expectations. 

Buying a home that is already fully furbished takes away certain unwanted expenses. Buying a house that is a little bit of a project also takes away certain unwanted expenses. 

You are the only one who can decide which direction is best for you. Keep that in mind throughout the process and you’ll be a happy homeowner. 

10. Enjoy the Process 

It’s hard to imagine a scenario of buying a house that doesn’t involve a massive amount of stress. While stress is unavoidable, make sure that you remember what you’re doing. 

You’re buying yourself a house. Remember to enjoy the process and you won’t find yourself making any rash decisions. 

Tips for Buying a House: It’s Your Decision

Tips for buying a house aren’t one size fits all. They require specific input from your loved ones and whoever else is advising you. One loan might be perfect for an individual but terrible for you. 

It’s up to you to make the decision. Take a look at these other great reads to feel more comfortable about your potential home investments!