First Home Buying Guide

Our first home buying guide has been created to help you navigate your way through your first home buying process. It can be quite overwhelming if you’ve never bought a house before. There are a lot of moving parts and keeping track of what you need to do when can take up more time than you expect. At Australian Credit and Finance, where here to help you get into your first home with as little hassle as possible.

We understand that owning your own home is part of the great Australian Dream, but recognise that it can also be quite confusing for first home buyers. This guide has been designed to help you through this process so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed and stressed out.


Where to Start


The first step is to figure out what your goals are for your first property. Think about the following questions:

  1. How long do I plan to hold onto this property for?
  2. Am I looking to build a property portfolio?
  3. Am I really ready to buying a house?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to look at your finances. You need to know where you stand financially before you can even begin the process of looking for a home to purchase.

Now would be a good time to review your budget and figure out how much you can actually afford to pay in repayment costs, not to mention the upfront costs associated with buying a house.

Be realistic with your budget. Factor in every last dollar and cent into your budget. Think about what you spend on a daily basis. Keeping a spending diary for a week can help with this, just to ensure you don’t miss any additional spending that might not be accounted for in your budget.

To help figure some of these costs, use our mortgage repayment calculator to figure out what your monthly repayments might be. Then, use our buying costs calculator to figure out what upfront costs you might need to pay.




Once you know how much you can afford and what your upfront costs might be, you need to do some research on the type of mortgage you can access and what type of first home buyers grant you can access.

The First Home Owners Grant is different depending on the state or territory you’re in, so make sure you check out what you’re entitled to first.

Once you know how much you can get access to as a first home buyer, it’s time to research mortgage options.

At Australian Credit and Finance, we can help you find the right home loan to suit your needs. Our experienced Home Loan Experts can help you with this research phase and provide you with a number of recommendations based on the information you provide to us.

You should also complete your own due diligence as well. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Ring some of the big lenders and see what they offer in the way of mortgages for first home buyers
  • If you have friends that own their own home, ask them about their own experiences with their lenders to see if any of them might be a good fit for you
  • Review ads in newspapers and magazines to see if there are lenders providing special deals


Find a Property


Once you’ve got your budget sorted, you know how much you can afford in monthly repayments and have an idea of the type of home loan you can access, it’s time to find a property.

This is the most exciting part of the process. Our best piece of advice though is to not jump into the first property you fall in love with. Review your goals and then chat with family and friends about some of the areas you’d like to look at.

Check websites like and to see what houses are selling for in the areas you’re looking at.

Once you’ve got an idea of the suburbs you’d like to view, contact real estate agent’s in those areas and get on their alert lists. Find out what properties the real estate agents have available in your price range and start attending some open homes.

At this point you’ll want to make sure that you have lined up your legal representatives. These include solicitors, conveyancers and building inspectors. Get a few different quotes from these professionals to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that you feel comfortable dealing with them. Often, a referral from a friend or family is the best way to go.


Property Due Diligence


Once you’ve found a couple of properties you’d like to look at further, it’s time to get a building inspector in to look at the property for you.

They will be able to tell you if there are any hidden nasties, like faulty wiring, leaky pipes, shifting foundations etc. You should also have a pest inspector check out your property for any infestations.

Once you have this information, you can then make a decision on the property (or properties) that you’d like to make an offer on.


Make an Offer


This part of the process can be quite nerve racking, which is why you need to have a good real estate agent on your side and also have your finance sorted.

Work with your real estate agent to figure out what your first offer should be. As a good rule of thumb, making an offer with 5% of the asking price is often a good place to start.

Work with your real estate agent to get the best deal for both you and the seller. Be realistic and use your research to back up any queries that the seller might have about your offer.

If your offer is accepted, don’t sign anything until your solicitor or conveyancer has reviewed it and given you the ‘thumbs up.’

If you’re offer is accepted, there could be conditions to wait out and settlement could take a few months to happen. While you wait for that, you can start preparing for your move. You’ll need to arrange removalists, change of address information etc.

Once settlement day arrives, the final monies are transferred and the signing of the mortgage and other documentation takes place. You’ll get access to the keys and can move in!

First home buying can be an overwhelming process, which is why we created this First Home Buyers Guide. If you need help with any part of the process, our experienced Home Loan Experts can help you navigate your way through your very first home buying experience. Call us today on 1300 735 557 to get started.