Have your home buying plans in Gold Coast been put on hold because of Covid-19? There are still many things you can do as a first home buyer in Gold Coast to keep the ball rolling. If you’re planning on becoming a Gold Coast First Home Buyer, it’s important not to rush in without being prepared.
Purchasing property can be confusing, stressful, and as an asset class it has substantial entry and exit costs, so it will save a lot of time, money and stress if you do your research prior to making the big decision on which type of property and where to buy.
A great way to start is by reviewing your current finances; working out a budget to increase savings is a great way to start your property buying journey. The Moneysmart website has some excellent investment guides and Budgeting Calculators to kick start your homebuyer savings plan.
While working on your budget, it’s a good time to think about what your long term plans are for the property. Are you going to live in it long term, or are you planning on renting it out in future?
There are a number of ways you can continue your first home buyer in Gold Coast journey from the comfort of your lockdown lodgings. To ensure you’re ready when circumstances change, we’ve outlined six things you can do now to keep things moving along.
Prioritize Your Savings as a First Home Buyer
Home deposit savings may have turned into emergency funds to see you through. This is actually a perfectly wise and commendable step to make. Your wellbeing and security should always be the top priority – buying a home comes later.
If you can, try to pay off any outstanding debts. Then, if possible, put aside enough money to see you through the next 3-6 months of living costs. Once that’s in place, you can think about planning for the future again – including saving your deposit.
Using this time to do an audit of your current savings, and work out your financial priorities, will be invaluable as a first home buyer.
Go through your bank statements and figure out how much money you have coming in and going out. Cutting expenses now will mean you can put some cash aside to top up any income drop in the future.
Here are some of the state and federal incentives currently available to Gold Coast and Brisbane First Home buyers:
- You should also take the time to review the government incentives available to help Queensland First Home Buyers enter the property market. The Queensland State government currently offers Queensland First Home Buyers a $15,000 Grant for newly built homes under $750,000.
- As of 16th June 2020 an additional $5,000 grant for buyers of a new home (with the home being owner-occupied and valued up to $750,000) in a regional location.
- They also provide a Concession on Transfer Duty for Queensland First Home Buyers for purchases under $550,000. The property can be second hand or new.
- The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme offers approved 1st Home Buyers the ability to purchase property with a lower deposit without having to pay high Lenders Mortgage Insurance Costs (LMI).
- The First Home Super Saver scheme allows you to save money for your 1st home within your super fund. Gold Coast First Home Buyers will be able to save faster due to reduced taxes on superannuation.
- After the COVID 19 outbreak calmed down in early June, the government introduced the $25,000 HomeBuilder stimulus package on new builds and substantial renovations for home buyers as well as First Home Buyers.
Get Credit Ready
When was the last time you checked your credit score? You’ll need a healthy-looking score to qualify for a mortgage. Take steps to make sure it’s in ship-shape so you’re ready to go. You can check your score for FREE here.
You’ll also need to check over your credit report. This is an important file that contains detailed information about your credit history. You can get your Credit reports online from any of the credit reference agencies for free.
Some good news worth mentioning is that these credit checking firms have announced an “emergency payment freeze”. This means your credit score won’t be affected during any repayment holiday you’ve agreed with your bank.
Start House Hunting
If you’re dreaming of your perfect home, the chances are, you have already been browsing beautiful properties online. This is a great place to start to get a better idea of available homes in Gold Coast within your budget, in your desired area.
Once you’ve found a property you are interested in, contact the estate agent to organize a virtual viewing. The benefit of viewing a property online is that you will be able to have a guided walkthrough of the property from the comfort of your own home.
The tour will be conducted by the agent and might talk you through the key features of the property. Virtual viewings also allow you to attend multiple viewings in one day, without even having to leave your sofa.
You could even ask the seller to take some specific videos of the neighborhood whilst on their daily walk, cycle or run. And let’s not forget good old Google Street View to get a feel for different areas.
Get Familiar With Floor Plans
You might like the look of the layout of one particular plan without picturing its actual scale. Get to know how big a square foot is by measuring up a room at home. This will give you a better understanding of space and what you could be getting for your money.
Once you have the measurements and a sense of scale, you can then start planning how to decorate the place. Why not use an app to help you visualize your home and browse for ideas before you physically move in? You could try Ikea’s Home Planner, RoomStyler 3D Home Planner or HomeByMe. You never know, by the time pandemic is over you could have your whole interior design plans drawn up and ready to go!
Prepare the Paperwork
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will check the information you give them in detail. This is to confirm that what you tell them is legit. Plus they’ll want to make sure you can pay them back. So you’ll need to show them evidence – which means you’ll need to gather together various bits of paperwork.
Now is the perfect time to get all this boring stuff in order and out the way – so you’re not faffing around later down the line! Some of the documents you will need may include:
- Proof of identity (passport or driving license)
- Bank statements
- Other proof of income (P60, state of accounts)
- Proof of address (utility bills in your name)
If you don’t have these lying around, contact your bank and utilities companies. They’ll be able to send you copies of the most recent statements and bills.
Build a Strong Team to Help With Your First Home Buyer Journey
Your first home buyer journey in Gold Coast at any time can be a stressful process, so you must have a strong team of licensed professionals around to reduce your stress levels and more importantly, reduce your risk of problems during and after the property purchase.
- Some examples of these professionals are:
- Building and Pest Inspectors
- Lawyer or Conveyancer
- Buyers Agents
- Town Planners
As Brisbane And Gold Coast Buyers Agents, we offer specific solutions to help Queensland First Home Buyers enter the Queensland property market for the best price under the best purchasing conditions to suit your requirements.