Would it surprise you to learn that despite market conditions cooling in 2019, at least in terms of housing prices, landlords are continuing to raise rents? This strategy is happening right across Australia, and it could mean now is the right time to make the transition from renter to buyer. Here’s what you need to know.
Is there a ‘right time’ to buy?
Just like most things in life, when it comes to buying a home there are a number of factors that culminate in you being able to seriously look at purchasing property.
Because buying a home will probably be the biggest financial decision you’ll ever make, it’s critical that you have a solid plan in place – i.e. know your price range, research your favourite suburbs, what size of house do you need at your current stage of life and build your knowledge of the market, check what State or Federal Government grants are available to you as a potential qualifying purchaser.
Most importantly, you need to get your savings in order so you can put down a deposit on the home of your dreams. You may know all this but getting ready to buy takes a lot of prep work!
Finally, make sure you monitor the market constantly so you can buy in favourable conditions, e.g. interest rates are low, government grants, lots of housing options available, lifestyle, infrastructure, transport and of course if the asking price of your dream home is within your reach!
4 signs you’re ready to transition from renter to buyer
Are you still in the ‘unsure’ category? Not 100% certain whether it’s time to cast off the rental shackles and embrace the life of a homeowner? See if any of these five signs ring a bell for you:
- You have healthy savings: Do you find it easy to pay rent every fortnight or month? Are your savings healthy enough that you could probably take a holiday and not have to cut down on other day-to-day things? Lenders will look favourably on your discipline to save responsibly.
- Your rent is equal to or more than a mortgage would be: Say you’re paying $500 per week for your current rental. After putting down your 20% deposit on a $500,000 home loan, your weekly repayments would be less than what you pay in rent – for a 30-year loan at 4% interest.
- You plan on staying in one location in the medium to long term: Most people who rent tend to jump around to different properties for one reason or another – whether it’s the rental price increasing, moving to another job or upgrading to a bigger home. But when you buy, you’ll likely want to stay in the one place for at least a few years – so start putting together your list of favourite suburbs today.
- You have the funds to cover a deposit and other upfront costs: Buying a home isn’t just about the deposit. You’ll also have to consider additional fees like stamp duty, lenders mortgage insurance (depending on your deposit amount), building and pest inspections, conveyancing fees and more. If you have the funds for all of these, your transition to a homeowner will be a lot smoother.
Checklist before you buy
- Get your budget plan in order.
- Find out how much you’ll need to borrow for the home of your dreams.
- Add in extra costs like stamp duty and conveyancing fees.
- List your most-needed amenities – like good schools, nearby public transport and healthcare facilities.
- Investigate whether you are eligible for grants like the First Home Owner Grant.
- Research the market – check recent sale prices and auction results in your preferred areas.
- Make a list of potential service providers – i.e. lenders, mortgage brokers, financial advisors, conveyancers, pest and building inspectors.