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A guide and step-by-step checklist for buying your first house

Buying a house can be a thrilling achievement. Like all great achievements, however, it requires careful planning and preparation, from calculating your home loan repayments to preparing your home loan application, the process of buying the house itself and making your loan repayments every month.

We’ve prepared a step-by-step checklist for you to download, as well as the following guide to the process of buying your first home.

Planning to buy a house

  • Use our home loan calculator to estimate your budget, including how much you can borrow and are willing to spend and how much of your income you will be able to use for monthly repayments. Keep in mind that this is an estimate only and the exact amounts will be determined by the pre-qualification process.
  • Consider a tiered interest rate to reduce your minimum monthly payments and pay less interest on your home loan.
  • Keep additional costs in mind which you may need to include in your budget, such as:
    • Deposit
    • Transfer duties
    • Conveyancing costs
    • Clearances and registration fees
    • Building insurance
    • Bond registration fees
  • Have a good credit score or take time to build up your credit score before applying for a home loan.

Before buying a house

  • Get pre-approval online with our Qualify Me service. This will give you an indication of how much you will be able to borrow.
  • Do your research when considering making an offer on a property:
    • Consider getting a professional property inspection to ensure the property is structurally sound and in good condition. This can give you a better idea of its overall value and help you avoid unforeseen repair costs.
    • Use LookSee, our free online property guide, to ensure the price is appropriate for what is on offer, that the location of the property meets your requirements and that there is potential to grow your investment over time.
    • If you are buying a sectional title property, review the financial statements of the complex. This will give you an indication of the financial health of the property and ensure that you won’t be required to pay any special levies once you make your purchase.

When buying a house

  • Once you decide to buy, you will need to sign an offer to purchase. An offer to purchase is a legally binding agreement, so make sure you review it carefully before signing and don’t allow yourself to be pressured or rushed into signing.
  • You have the right to amend the offer to purchase before signing, including specifying the details of the home loan that you will be applying for to make the purchase.
  • Once the offer to purchase is signed, you can formally begin your home loan application, although you should already know how much you have qualified for thanks to the pre-approval process.
  • The lender will perform a valuation of the property, which can give a good indication as to whether the price being asked is appropriate or not.
  • Lenders will review your credit history and score during the application process, so make sure yours are in good standing before you apply.

Did you know? We have a home loan product called JumpStart designed exclusively for first-time buyers. If you qualify for JumpStart, you can receive a loan for 100% of the purchase price plus an additional sum equal to no more than 5% of the purchase price to cover additional fees such as transfer duties and conveyancing costs.

Ready to buy a house? Download our checklist and start your home loan application online.

Terms and conditions apply.