Our advice for First Home Buyers on the Sunshine Coast

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Imagine hanging a shelf in a room or painting a wall in any colour you choose and not having to ask permission first. 

The great Australian dream of owning your own home has become an almost controversial topic. Millennials and Gen Z’s argue that the housing market has favoured older established generations, in particular, ‘Baby Boomers’. Baby Boomers point out the excessive rate hikes from 1974 to the early 1990s, floating consecutively at over 10% for that period. Younger generations look at house value compared to wage growth and older generations deflect with ‘flippant’ purchases. Oddly Smashed Avocado on toast gets mentioned?! Long story short, it gets messy. 

If you’re considering buying your first home then saving for home deposits, watching property markets, and staying abreast of government grants and interest rates will become a part-time job. 

At Countryside Realty Noosa, we’ve helped our fair share of first-home buyers through settlement and into their forever homes. With that in mind, we thought we would share some of our advice for those beginning that journey..

Advice on Budgeting

Before we get too far into this, let’s briefly look at ‘budget’. This is a broadly covered topic by lenders and brokers.  But ultimately it comes down to you and what you can afford. The median Sunshine Coast house price, according to CoreLogic’s latest report (Aug 22’) sits at $1,094,127. With most lenders looking at a loan-to-value ratio (LVR) of 80%  it translates to a 20% deposit from you. To help with this lenders suggest building your deposit with government grants such as the first home buyer grant, getting a loan guarantor or a cash gift. But, be mindful of things like; stamp duty, conveyancing fees, application fees, inspections fees and so on. This article on Realestate.com.au does a good job of explaining. 

Watch the local market like a hawk & attend inspections

Having a thorough understanding of what the market is doing in areas you’re interested in is essential. We’d recommend you subscribe to the suburbs you are interested in and check your inbox. As well as logging into your profile and watching for new listings.  

Speak to local agents and attend inspections. This is a great way to get a feel for the market and start to build rapport with agents. Plus, you’ll get an understanding of what your budget can afford offline, sometimes photos can be deceptive so an in-person visit is usually the way to go.

Research, research, research. 

Keep an eye out for proposed developments, and council plans and don’t be shy with agents, if you’re unsure of what the asking price is, make sure to speak up. Most real estate agents, ours included (see below sign up form) offer email alerts and direct contact for potential buyers. If you know your area of interest, reach out to local agents and get in the know.

Be prepared to make an offer and be flexible with the terms

Being confident with what you can afford is a very powerful negotiating tool. If you can confidently offer a price with pre-approval plus be flexible with settlement terms you’ll have a discernible edge when negotiating. 

Negotiables vs Non-negotiables

Unfortunately, you’re not likely to get everything you want on your ‘first home’ wish list. Naturally, having an understanding of what you’re willing to be flexible on will make the process easier and allow for more options. 

‘Need vs want’ lists are a great place to start that compromise. Many need to be the ‘right’ distance from work but probably don’t need two bathrooms and so on. Likewise the same can be said for exploring new suburbs. Being willing to compromise on certain aspects of your wish list increases your options and will get you into your home sooner.

Watch the trends but don’t believe everything you read

The Australian media has done a good job of seeding uncertainty in the real estate market. Depending on which news outlets you subscribe to current news is either; touting a ‘housing bubble burst’ or pushing you towards the ‘The most desirable suburbs of 2023’. Fundamentally, it will come down to research. Staying in tune with interest rates, and inflation and forecasting your affordability and cost of living. Doing your research will inevitably give you an understanding of what is right and best for you and most importantly when to act!

At Countryside Realty Noosa, we’d love to welcome you into your first home and be a part of the journey. If you’re in the market or just need some friendly advice make sure to reach out.

Sources & Further Reading




https://www.realestate.com.au/australia/ https://www.realestate.com.au/home-loans/guides/need-20-deposit-home-loan

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