Saving enough for a home deposit and being able to manage the repayments can be a tough ask for anyone – throw kids (and their associated costs) into the equation and it can seem insurmountable.
There are three key areas which Home Hunters with Kids (HHWK) have to factor into their plans of owning their own home – finances, time and finding the right type of home in the price range.
Finding the right type of mortgage is very important as there are literally thousands of different home loan products out there. It’s best to speak to an accredited broker to find out what is available – for example, there are some which will allow customers to borrow up to 97 per cent of the value of the home, while others are capped at 80 per cent.
It’s vital to have an established pattern of savings in order for the lender to favourably assess the loan application, and it also bodes well for future budgeting.
It is well worth checking out Government incentives such as the First Home Owner’s Grant to other state-based stamp-duty concessions. Another one to look at is the Government’s First Home Saver Accounts, where the Government helps savers by matching their savings (up to a certain level) over five years.
Being able to do some solid uninterrupted research into searching for a home is vitally important, and for anyone who has children, they can appreciate that it’s sometimes very hard to get the work done. Try and go online when the children are at school, or in bed and make an appointment to see an accredited broker when convenient.
The Saturday Open House trek can be made a little easier with some pre-planning and strategy. Try and print out copies of the online property ads, and do a “drive-by” before their scheduled open times. If the outside or the area doesn’t appeal, you will have saved time on Saturday.
Also, try and get someone to watch the children while you view open houses as trekking across the suburbs with kids in tow can be a nightmare. You can always bring them back during second or subsequent viewings so they can feel part of the process.
The third issue is suitability and being about to find the right property to suit the family’s needs. An apartment or unit may be small, but if it means getting a foot on the property ladder – then it may be worth considering. Or perhaps, compromising and buying a house in an area that isn’t the first choice and then upgrading later, might also be an option.