PROPERTY ADVICE 9 I t’s that time of year again where we tick over into a new financial year, review our goals, and consider our finances to ready ourselves for the year ahead. Whether you are a first home buyer or a seasoned property owner looking to upsize or downsize, preparing your finances to buy real estate isn’t a small feat. Here, we share our top tips to help you get your financial house in order before the perfect property comes along. Take advantage of relevant schemes and grants Several schemes and grants have been introduced by the Federal Government in a bid to help boost the property market and assist those looking to buy. For first home buyers As well as the First Home Owner Grant and First Home Super Saver Scheme, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme has been introduced, which allows for eligible first home buyers to purchase a home with a deposit of only five per cent without needing to pay for lenders mortgage insurance. The New Home Guarantee has been extended this financial year to support first home buyers, but limited to those who are purchasing newly built properties. There is also the Family Home Guarantee, which aims to support eligible single parents with at least one dependent child in purchasing a family home, regardless of whether they are a first home buyer or a previous homeowner. For downsizers Those looking to downsize can also reap the benefits of Government schemes with the Downsizer Contribution Scheme allowing eligible applicants to contribute up to $300,000 of their property sales to their superannuation, which could mean thousands of dollars in tax savings. “With so many schemes and grants readily available, now is the perfect time for those looking to enter the property market to get ahead of the game and save big,” says Nick Boyd, Head of Growth, Belle Property and Hockingstuart. “Make sure you look into which grants might suit you and get advice from your mortgage broker or accountant before diving in.” Consider low interest rates and getting financial advice Australia’s interest rates are currently at an all-time low and are likely to stay at 0.10 per cent for a while. “There are many important factors to consider when saving to buy and looking for a home loan and the interest rate is one of them, especially when it comes to variable home loans,” says Nick. “There are financial and tax benefits to several different loan arrangements. The best thing to do is speak to your lender or financial advisor for the right guidance.” Budget for hidden costs As with any major purchase, there are hidden costs in buying a home that extend past the purchasing price. It’s a good idea to research what these are so you know what you need to consider before you buy. For first home buyers For many first home buyers, learning about property finances happens on the run, but with that said, you want to try and wrap your head around these costs during your planning stages. “My biggest advice to first home buyers is to understand and be prepared for the costs outside of the property price before they start looking,” says Nick. “These costs can include stamp duty, lenders mortgage insurance, loan application fees … the list goes on. So, check in with your lender or financial advisor to be sure.” For downsizers Although you may be moving to a smaller house, it doesn’t necessarily mean your associated costs will be any less. “When downsizing make sure you consider stamp duty, legal fees, moving and inspection costs, too,” Nick explains. For more information, please visit s i tchu.com . au/ l i v ing /proper t y “With somany schemes and grants readily available, now is the perfect time for those looking to enter the propertymarket to get ahead of the game and save big. Make sure you look into which grantsmight suit you and get advice from yourmortgage broker or accountant before diving in.” – Nick Boyd, Belle Property and Hockingstuart’s Head of Growth ‘‘ Grants and schemes to review: Dow n s i z e r Co n t r i b u t i o n Sc h e m e ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS TO CONTRIBUTE UP TO $300,000 OF THEIR PROPERTY SALES TO THEIR SUPERANNUATION. FamilyHomeGuarantee AIMS TO SUPPORT ELIGIBLE SINGLE PARENTS WITH AT LEAST ONE DEPENDENT CHILD IN PURCHASING A FAMILY HOME. F I R S T H O M E L O A N ALLOWS FOR ELIGIBLE FIRST HOME BUYERS TO PURCHASE A HOME WITH A DEPOSIT OF ONLY FIVE PER CENT.