The perks for first home buyers have never been better with the $20,000 Regional First Home Owners Grant (RFHOG) available to those who build or buy, along with the stamp duty exemption for homes under $600,000, what better time to take advantage of these great government incentives.
Buying land and building seems to be the flavour of the month with a diverse range of residential estates offering up many great deals on land throughout our region.
This delivers the ability to leave your options open like the type of home to suit your needs and when you actually want to build.
As a financial advisor and mortgage broker, I recommend this for first time buyers as giving up $20,000 is just too good an opportunity!
I have a general list of steps to use or consider for your property journey:
Step 1: Secure your location and block/house. Get out on the weekends and talk to land sales offices and gather as much information as possible. My top tips are to buy a flat block of land in a nice area close to shops and transport. A north-facing back yard can make all the difference so do your best to have this aspect. (You can thank me later as you embrace the warm winter sun!)
Step 2: Build your property team. This is made up of three key people: a land sales agent/real estate agent, conveyancer and a bank or mortgage broker. Pay your deposit (usually 5 per cent if you’re eligible for the RFHOG) and organise a conveyancer to review your contract. Currently there is land for sale with a long settlement, so you have the chance to put down your deposit and wait 12 months or so until the land is ready to “title”. My job, as a finance coach and mortgage broker, is to explain the whole finance process to you and set your savings goals for the process ahead. I can also tell you whether you may be eligible for the government benefits.
Step 3: Engage a builder. Being your first home, I would engage a volume builder. Geelong Homes would be my pick as they are a quality volume builder, still affordable and always start and finish on time. In my experience, they’ve allowed my clients to ask tons of questions without feeling judged. Not to mention I have built with them twice and had great experiences.
Once all is secured and your finance is approved, your house will start to take shape and it really becomes a great experience. You’ll look back on the hurdles you have overcome and be glad you pushed yourself at the time you did.
It can seem very daunting making it past step 1, but if you speak to the right people and become empowered with knowledge, you’re much more likely to go through this process feeling confident rather than scared and hesitant. Good luck!
Isaac Baker is a local mortgage broker who operates Yellow Brick Road Geelong & Torquay from their Torquay office at Level 1, Corner of Merrijig Drive and Fischer Street in Torquay. Call or text him to make an appointment on 0400 949 797.
Advice in this column should be taken as general in nature and might not apply to your personal circumstances.