How to Prepare Yourself for Buying or Building Your First Home

How to Prepare to Buy Your First Home

The building or buying of a new home is a significant milestone and one of the most major financial decisions Australians will make. At Brighton Homes, we understand that the journey to living in your dream home can feel exciting but daunting, especially if it's your first time. This guide is broken up into three sections; what you need to do financially before owning a home, current property market data and future projections before highlighting the significant costs you should consider when purchasing or building property in QLD.

Preparing Yourself Financially for Buying Property in Brisbane

Research the Market

Researching the market is an excellent place to start in your property search, but where do you start? A good question to ask yourself at the beginning is whether you want to build or buy your way to owning a home to live or invest in. Having a clear objective like this can help narrow down the research process and get a closer idea of where you'd like to buy. By doing research, you can:

  • Get an idea of where you'd like to buy
  • What the recent trends are in that area
  • What kind of place you could afford.

Look online, meet and talk to real estate agents, ask the experts for advice on buying a house go to property inspections and explore what's on offer in and around your local area.

Determine How Much You Can Borrow

At the early stages of preparing to buy a house, it's essential to learn your borrowing power to help determine between the properties that fit your budget and the ones that don't. While everyone's financial situation is different, how much you can afford to borrow will depend on the following:

  • Your income and financial commitments, such as rent, utilities, insurance, loan repayments and tax bills
  • House deposit, plus any other savings
  • Credit score and credit report.

To help get you started, try our Borrowing Power Calculator, which can provide an estimate and examples based on income, expense and loan details.

Get Your Debt Under Control

Having a clean slate before purchasing or building your first home is much better long-term than having any debts hanging around. Any outstanding debts, such as car loans or credit cards, should be paid down sooner rather than later so you'll have more to put towards saving for your new home. Here are 3 simple but essential reasons why it's a good idea to control debt:

  • Improves your borrowing power
  • Save on interest
  • Strengthens your home loan application.

Saving for a house is no easy feat but getting your debts under control is just one of the ways you can get there faster. Check out How to Save for First House Faster for more recommendations.

Create a Budget and Set a Savings Goal

No matter what type of home you're going for, you'll need to save for a house deposit. Having this goal in mind is an excellent motivation that can remove the temptation to spend your hard-earned money on things you might like but don't necessarily need. Creating a budget to set aside every week or month can help you identify how much you can afford to save for your deposit. Try our Savings Calculator to project how much you can accumulate over time with an initial amount and ongoing contributions.

A budget can be the framework that helps track every cent, and not having one can lead to problems as you work towards your future home. Check out our First Home Building Mistakes to Avoid to make sure that doesn't happen.

Look Around for Home Loan Options

The number one thing to remember when looking for the best deal on a home loan, the interest rate matters. A home loan is a long-term debt, so you want to find one that best suits you and your situation and that you can comfortably afford the ongoing mortgage repayments. At this stage of the process, it helps to:

  • Compare home loan rates. Contact at least two different lenders to get loan options personalised for your situation because even rates lower than 0.5% could save you thousands in the long term.
  • Hire a mortgage broker to help find home loan options for you.
  • Get pre-approval to buy. A lender can pre-approve a loan if you have evidence of your current financial situation to assess your ability to repay the loan.

Finding the right loan for your build can be challenging, and that's why our inhouse Mortgage Brokers at MyChoice Home Loans are here to help by removing the stress of finding your finance.


Pick The Right Builder

Choosing the right builder is one of the most important things to do before building a house. Building a home is a long process that takes many months, so there are many things to consider when it comes to your choice of builder. Here are some essential factors you should consider when choosing a builder and why Brighton Homes ticks all the boxes:

  • Credentials. Brighton Homes have over 30 years of experience building homes for Queenslanders and are supported by the NXT Building Group.
  • Customer Care. We want our customers to have a home and a community full of friends and neighbours. This is achieved by providing a 24-month warranty (double the industry 12-month standard) and a 60-year structural guarantee.
  • Building Style. Each builder is different when it comes to their style of design. From small 2 bedroom plans to larger 5 bedroom homes, check out our home designs and see the magic for yourself.

Know There is Help Out There

Home builders in Queensland can also be eligible for government grants designed to assist first-time home builders in moving into their dream homes. Check out our Government Grants Guide, what grants are available, who is eligible, time frames, and how to apply.

Costs to Consider When Buying or Building Your First Home in Queensland

If you are building your first house, the process can involve costs that you should consider to avoid being thrown for a loop later down the line. Below are the most significant costs to consider when building your home:

  • Fees for Closing Roads or Causing Interruptions - It's possible that roads will have to be closed throughout the building process, which interrupts traffic. This closure can incur fees from your local council or the state government.
  • Bushfire Attack Level - If your building is close to bushy areas, then your property may have a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating, meaning changes need to be made, which can incur costs, to make it as bushfire safe as possible.
  • 1:100 Flood (Flood Prone Areas) - If the area you are building is prone to flooding, then this will also incur costs so that the home is designed in a way that if a 1 in 100 years flood comes through that, the property is safe.

When buying property in Brisbane, you can come up against some unexpected fees. Some of the highest costs you should consider during the home-buying process include:

  • Stamp Duty - A tax charged by the state government whenever a property is sold or transferred to a new owner.
  • Transfer Fee - A state government fee to cover the cost of transferring the title.
  • Loan Application Fees - A standard fee charged by lenders when you apply for a loan.
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance - Lenders take out insurance to insure them against not recovering the outstanding loan balance if you cannot make your loan payments or theproperty is sold for less than the loan balance.
  • Moving Costs - This can be a low or high amount, depending on the distance between properties.

When Is a Good Time to Buy or Build a House?

Nowadays, it’s a common question for potential homeowners to ask themselves, when is a good time to buy or build a house? The answer to that question isn’t when you should enter but rather how long you are in the market. 

Ready to embark on your home building journey? Get in touch with us online or call our friendly team on 1300 893 788 and find out how Brighton Homes can help you build the home of your dreams.