The #1 Home-buying Story

by Chris Lang on July 9, 2012

The #1 home buying story

As you all know the competition of “How I bought my first home” stories is officially over, and today we are happy to announce the winner.

It was a very close battle between quite a few home buyers who learned and shared a great deal of wisdom in their quest for the most important place in the world – their first home.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce the winner:

Congratulations, Amber Heath! We will contact you via email to arrange the delivery of your prize – a $200 IKEA gift card.

And here are the lessons Amber learned while purchasing her first home:

“I was fortunate enough to have a helping family who contributed towards our deposit and the First Home Owners Grant covered the rest. I can provide the following tips though:

  • If you are lucky enough to have family help out with cash for the deposit, deposit the money into your bank account over a 3-6 month period. This will look like ‘genuine’ savings to any mortgage lender.
  • Be cautious where you draw your money out (ie ATMs). Mortgage lenders will consider you with a gambling problem if you draw all of your money out at ATMs at venue with pokie machines. They will also look at your current spending habits so only draw out what you need or use eftpos. For example, if you draw out $200 at one ATM and then the same day draw out another $200 at another ATM and this happens a few times a week, this will look suspicious.
  • Research your area for recent natural disasters such as flooding. Your local council will have information if the house you are looking to purchase is in a flood zone/plain. The estate agent should also know these facts, but better to check yourself. Most mortgage lenders will not lend money if a house lies in a flood zone that has less than 1/100 year flooding. This means that if a house you are looking at has been labelled 1/50 year floods, you will more than likely not be able to get a mortgage.
  • High tension power lines are another thing to consider, not only for the well being of your family, but most traditional lenders will not mortgage a house within close proximity to a high tension power line. Some non-traditional lenders may lend, providing the power line does not cross the property border.
  • Check older houses and areas that are well known for termite infestations. It is wise when buying a weatherboard or older house to get a pest and building inspection done.
  • Make sure you have budgeted for stamp duty and taxes.
  • If you are only starting to save for a deposit, look out for things on special like linen, towels, crockery etc and buy small things and I suppose start a collection (glory box) before you move out.
  • If you have a family, be sure to check out the local schools, sporting clubs etc for ideas on the best areas to live.”
  • Thank you Amber for sharing these tips with everyone!

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