Your Guide to Buying Your First Home
Buying your first home is one of the most exciting times in your life but it can also be a little overwhelming. We’re here to help you throughout the home buying journey, from finding out how much you can borrow, to applying for your first home loan and getting into your first property.
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Home loan calculators and tools
Step 1: Work out your budget
How much can I borrow and afford?
Every home buying journey begins with a clear budget in mind. Work out how much you can borrow with our Borrowing Power Calculator. This estimate is based on your current salary (and your partner's if you are making a joint application), existing financial commitments and the length of your loan.
Calculate your ongoing repayments with our Repayments Calculator. Our Budget Planner will help you work out how much you have available each month for your repayments.
Should I get a conditional approval?
Obtaining a conditional approval is a great way of getting an actual estimate as to how much you can borrow and finding out whether you will be approved for a loan. It is also a great way of showing real estate agents that you are a serious buyer and can speed up the finance application process once you have signed the contract of sale.
Chat to us about obtaining a conditional approval at BOQ. We will assess your income and financial obligations and provide conditional confirmation as to how much you can borrow. This is valid for up to 3 months but can also be renewed.
How much deposit do I need?
The minimum, home loan deposit you should have is at least 5% of the purchase price of the property. However, Lenders Mortgage Insurance will apply if your deposit is less than 20%, which is a one-off fee that covers us against loss if you default on your repayments. This fee is added to your loan amount and allows you to borrow more than 80% of the property value for home loans.
As a first home buyer, you may be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), a government scheme to help first home buyers purchase or build their first home sooner. This may contribute to your home loan deposit amount if you are eligible.
What are the costs to buying a home?
In addition to your home loan deposit, ensure you have also budgeted for the upfront costs that come with buying a home, which include:
- Stamp Duty - use our Stamp Duty Calculator to work out how much stamp duty will be payable on the purchase of your home
- Lenders Mortgage Insurance - required if you have less than 20% home loan deposit
- Legal fees - for completing conveyancing and title searches on your home
- Building & Pest Inspection - a report on the structure and condition of your home
- Home and Contents Insurance - for peace of mind
- Property valuation - an independent valuation of your home
- Moving costs - hiring a removalist or truck while moving into your new home
Step 2: Search for your first home
It's time to hit the pavement and attend property inspections. It's important to do your research on house prices while hunting for that perfect property. The BOQ Property App (powered by RP Data) will provide you with useful information on the last sale price, estimated price range and other sales in the area. All you need to do is enter the address and you'll receive a free property report by email.**
Step 3: Choose your first home loan
What home loan features do I need?
Choosing the right first home loan is just as important as finding the right first home for you. Your home loan needs to have all the features that suit your personal circumstances and those that will help you pay off your home sooner. Whether you have a clear idea on the home loan you want or you would like to speak to an expert on your options, our home loan experts will recommend the best home loan for your individual circumstances. Key home loan features include:
- Interest rate - choose between the flexibility of a variable rate or the certainty of fixed loan repayments
- Mortgage offset - reduce the interest you pay on your loan by keeping your savings in a mortgage offset account
- Redraw facility - redraw any cash on your home loan when you need it
- Additional repayments - pay off your home off sooner
- Flexible repayments - make weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments
Popular home loans for first home buyers
Take the guesswork out of choosing your home loan with our most popular first home buyer home loans:
View more loans or compare our home loans.
Step 4: Buy your first home
Once you've found your first home and have reached an agreement with the seller, the settlement process begins. On settlement day, your legal and financial representatives will ordinarily meet with the seller's representatives to transfer the ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. The settlement date is set in the contract of sale, and is typically between 30-90 days.
To prepare for settlement, you'll likely need to do the following:
- Contact a solicitor or conveyancer to review your contract of sale
- Return your signed contract of sale to the seller
- Speak to your lender to start your home loan application. Ensure you have all your necessary documentation.
- Organise a building and pest inspection
- Organise your final inspection of the property
- Ensure you have enough funds to cover the property settlement and solicitors fees.
- Collect your keys on settlement day and celebrate your new home!
Apply for your home loan
1At the conclusion of the fixed rate period, the loan converts to the Standard Variable Housing Loan Rate
2Discount is 1% p.a. below the Standard Variable Housing Rate. Reverts to the Standard Variable Interest Rate after 12 months.