Online Banking

1300 314 900 Find a Branch

What support is available to buy your first home?

4 minute read

Congratulations! Buying your first home is a huge life milestone, and if you’re reading these words – you’re on the right track to achieving that dream.

There are many well-publicised hurdles on the road to buying a first home. However, there is also several different avenues of support available for Australians looking to buy their first home – from government schemes and lenders alike.

As a member of a community owned bank, you’re in a fortunate position as we’re here to guide you through the process.

Here are a few of the decisions you’ll face on your road to home ownership and where you can look for help along the way.

Meeting the deposit and lending criteria

Before you apply for a home loan, lenders will require a deposit as a form of security. While some lenders accept deposits of just a few per cent of the property purchase price, a deposit of 20 per cent is typically needed to avoid Lender’s Mortgage Insurance. LMI protects the lender if you default on your loan and generally costs several thousand dollars.

Beyond the deposit, lenders will also want to see evidence that you’d be a good borrower and can repay the loan. This may include pay slips and employment history, evidence of your assets, and your record of repaying other debt. Having the right documents in hand before you apply can streamline the process.

Choosing the type of home loan

Once you have your deposit and paperwork together, you’ll also have to think about the type of loan you’d like. Your main options include:

  • A variable-rate mortgage, where the interest rate – and, therefore, the repayment – tends to fluctuate in line with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s changes to the official cash rate
  • A fixed-rate mortgage, where the rate of interest and repayment amount are frozen for a period of time
  • A split mortgage, which is a combination of both of the above options.

Every borrower is different, so the choice you should make comes down to your personal circumstances. You can always discuss the pros and cons of the options our team of local lending experts.

Government support schemes

As a first-time buyer, you may be eligible for extra support from either the federal or state/territory government. Generally, this depends on factors such as where you live, your income and assets, and what you intend to buy.

Here are a few of the schemes designed to help first-time home buyers. 

  • The First Home Guarantee is a Federal Government scheme available to 35,000 first-time buyers each year. It’s designed to help people get into the housing market with a smaller deposit (5 per cent) without paying LMI. The Government guarantees the remaining 15 per cent of the deposit to allow the buyer to avoid paying the insurance. The scheme has a number of eligibility requirements – for more information, click here.
  • The First Home Owner Grant is a national scheme, administered by the states and territories, to help buyers avoid GST on their first homes. Grants of up to $30,000 are available, depending on where you are buying. There are a number of conditions, with many states and territories imposing caps on how much buyers can pay for a home. To find out what’s available in your state or territory, click here.

In addition to the government schemes, lenders have a variety of ways of helping first-time buyers get into the market. Contact us today to start chatting to a local expert who can steer you in the right direction on your road to home ownership.

Contact us via the website or call 1300 314 900 – our local lending specialists are here to help.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

Related Articles

Talk to us about your home loan and personal banking needs today