Buying a Home? Here's Where To Start

Six tips to help you start your home-buying journey with confidence.

For many Aussies, buying their first home is one of the biggest purchases they will ever make. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming, but here are six tips to help you start your journey with confidence.

1. Research the market

Before you begin, it’s important to know if you’re looking to live in this home, or if it’ll be an investment? This will help determine the type of research you need to do, and ultimately, the type of home you purchase.

The journey to buying a home involves a lot of research! Here’s some things to familiarise yourself with:

  • Market trends for suburbs you’re interested in
  • Ongoing costs involved with different types of homes – apartments vs. townhouses vs. freestanding homes

2. Check your borrowing power

Getting an indication of how much you can borrow is an important part of the home buying journey. Your income, debt and expenses will help determine how much a lender is willing to loan you – also known as your borrowing power. This will give you a better indication of what suburbs you should focus your search in, and types of homes you can afford.  

Learn more about factors that impact your borrowing power here.

3. Consider getting conditional approval

Once you’ve got your borrowing power, you may want to consider getting conditional approval. Getting conditional approval can remove a lot of the stress that comes with buying a home and applying for a home loan.  

Conditional approval can last anywhere between three to six months, depending on the lender. If you need to extend your approval, make sure you speak to your lender before it expires. Learn more about conditional approval here.

4. Research upfront costs

Buying your dream home is exciting, but there’s more to it than just saving for a deposit and finding the right lender. Some upfront costs associated with buying a home may include:

  • Stamp duty
  • Building and pest inspections
  • Land tax & registration of title
  • Mortgage registration fees
  • Legal or conveyancing fees
  • Building Insurance

Learn more about upfront costs to consider before buying a home here.

5. Your savings & deposit

It’s time to get saving! Lenders will typically require at least 20% deposit and want to see you can save money consistently, over a long period of time. The bigger your deposit, the lower your Loan to Value (LVR) ratio will be – this means you’ll have to pay less interest.

Don’t have a 20% deposit? Here are five things to consider.  

6. Find your home

It’s time to step up your search game! A lengthy part of the home buying journey, make sure you’re monitoring the market closely. Check for new listings on property websites and sign up for alerts – it could even be worthwhile building a relationship with real estate agents in the local area.

Once you find your dream home, you’ll want to act quickly so make sure you have a solicitor or conveyancer on speed dial!

Buying a home can be complex. Undo all the jargon and learn more here.

This article is intended to provide general information only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Please consider seeking financial advice before making any decision based on this information.

Unloan is a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Applications are subject to credit approval; satisfactory security and you must have a minimum 20% equity in the property. Minimum loan amount $10,000, maximum loan amount $10,000,000. 

Unloan offers a 0.01% per annum discount on the Unloan Live-In rate or Unloan Invest rate upon settlement. On each anniversary of your loan’s settlement date (or the day prior to the anniversary of your loan’s settlement date if your loan settled on 29th February and it is a leap year)the margin discount will increase by a further 0.01% per annum up to a maximum discount of 0.30% per annum. Unloan may withdraw this discount at any time. The discount is applied for each loan you have with Unloan.

There are no fees from Unloan. However, there are so are mandatory Government costs depending on your state when switching your home loan. For convenience, Unloan adds this amount to the loan balance on settlement.

* Other third-party fees may apply. Government charges may apply. Your other lender may charge an exit fee when refinancing.

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