A house icon with title Buying your first home in Australia

What to look for when buying your first home in Australia? – ABM Homes

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The first home buyer market is very attractive in Australia right now.  With Low interest rates and several government grants helping you save more, there has been an increase in the number of people moving out of their apartment and into their first  house. 

From our experience as a builder in the ACT division,  we understand how to make buying a new home make financial cells,  as well as the most common pitfalls you should avoid.

In this article,  we have taken a look at the key factors that you should consider before you buy your first home.

Factors to consider when buying a first time home

people visiting the display house at ABM Homes

1. The actual cost of owning a home

Home ownership does not only include the cost of the house and land but also depending on what area you live in. 

Stamp duty also has to be paid on the purchase of each home. You may have to pay maintenance fees, local council fees, balance repair and maintenance. Make sure you calculate all of these costs beforehand,  to avoid going over your budget.

2. Government schemes and financial incentives

To encourage home buying, the government has introduced several schemes for first time home buyers.  

This includes the First Home guarantee as well as the First Home Owner Grant. If you buy a turnkey package, you can also get a stamp duty exemption on the price of the home. 

We have covered these government financial incentives for buying a sustainable home in our piece on house and land packages.

Even though these schemes make buying a home more lucrative, they have several terms and conditions. That is why we suggest you discuss these options with your  builder, to ensure you qualify.

3. It’s better to build from scratch

Continuing from the point above, building a home can be better than buying  an already built property.

In addition to the financial incentives of making a building a new home, you can also have complete control over the layout, fixtures, and furnishings in the house.

You can choose how the garden will look, what kind of roof you want and everything else. There will be no need for building instructions or maintenance costs that you may have to cover up for the wear and tear of the houses already gone through.  

Building a home from the ground up also ensures that you can get a warranty on the life of your home. This is  usually only on offer for newly built homes. At ABM homes for example, we offer a 7 year structural warranty for all our new builds.

Even though it may be initially more expensive, you will get a house of your choice, built with the latest engineering techniques as well as having a higher resale value.


Location of a beautiful display home by ABM homes

4. Location

The biggest contributor to the cost of a property is usually its location. Make sure you do a lot of research,  both online and offline about property values in the area.

You want to make sure that you have an estimate of the cost of land as well as how much it will take to build on it. 

Areas that have accessible locations and are growing are also generally more expensive. Coming areas that are still filling out are generally easier on the pocket.


5. When do you want to shift?

Newly built homes can often take up to a full year for completion, even though some builders have options for homes that are in the middle of nearing competition. 

If you are in a hurry,  you should try and find homes that are already built, as  negotiations can often take a lot of time. 

Whatever your situation, make sure you also take into full account the costs of moving out of your old home and into a new one.


6. Take a look at your financials

This is a key factor that is often overlooked. If your income is set to steadily increase over the years, it’s better to not invest all of your savings, as you might end up moving, an activity which can be time consuming as well as expensive. 

If you are on a steady income and are looking to go there for more than a decade, you can invest more of your savings. 

This is because as a general rule, real estate value tends to appreciate a lot more when the investment horizon is 8 years or more.


aerial view of surroundings at whitlam village

7. What stage of life are you in?

Take a look at your current life situation. Are you a young and growing family or are you a family that has kids in the final year of the school education?

Choosing whether you want a single or double storey home is a very crucial decision that has an impact on costs as well as lifestyle choice.  

The number of people and their respective life stages are significant factors when deciding between a single vs double storey home.

8. Invest in Experts

Buying a home involves a lot of very serious work.  This includes getting the mortgage, legal paperwork,  as well as dealing with the builder/ home owner.

All of these transactions are complex, and there can be monetary and legal implications you should make sure you avoid.

Make sure you take sufficient advice from financial, legal and real-estate experts who deal with the nitty-gritty of a home purchase as a part of their daily routine.

Make sure you only work with people who are highly regarded in their field. One easy way to check this is to Google the business, and to see what people online are saying about it.

Doing the due diligence will always pay off in the long term, so make sure you invest your time, money and trust in the right place.

9. Do you research

It can be very tempting to buy the first nice home that you see. However, given the amount of factors that you have to consider,  you may find multiple homes that you feel fulfill a good chunk of your check list.

Make sure you get the property evaluated before buying, especially as you may need to rebuild a particular section. Also make sure you have seen as many options as possible. 

Knowing more about the area and the lifestyle on offer are important factors that can help you ensure you don’t have to go through buyers remorse.

10. Take your time

Buying a property can take time and can get frustrating. Whenever the process gets too overwhelming, remember that you are finally going to have a home of your own. 

Try to add as much fun as you can to this activity.  

If you’re in too much of a hurry, you may overlook important stuff,

Go the full haul, and you will end up feeling much more secure and satisfied with your  final decision for years to come.

aerial view of surroundings at whitlam village

Build your new home with ABM

At ABM Homes , we have helped a lot of families move into their new first house. We love creating a new and sustainable home experience that reflects your aesthetic.

We offer House and Land packages as well as Knockdown and Rebuild services and have a reputation as one of the most innovative builders in the Canberra region.

We can help you find out how many government schemes you are eligible for, and what kind of home you can buy that suits your current and future needs.

Give us a call today and have a chat with one of our experienced team members,  or you can visit our Display Home in Whitlam Display Village to have a conversation over a cuppa.

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