Figure it out with Finder: First Home Buyer’s Masterclass

Buying your first home is one of the biggest financial commitments you'll make in your life, and our recent First Home Buyers Report found that can feel pretty daunting – but it doesn't have to.

To help you get your foot on the property ladder, Finder's resident personal finance expert, Kate Browne, and senior home loans editor, Sarah Megginson, came together alongside a panel of some of Australia's leading property experts to chat all things first home buyer.

Our first 'Figure it out with Finder' virtual masterclass event was a one hour webinar for first home buyers, held on July 22.

We spoke about:

  • How to tackle common fears that hold us back from becoming home owners
  • How to know what type of property (apartments or houses?) and where to buy?
  • Which property markets are likely to grow in value in the next few years?
  • How to get the most out of government grants, incentives and discounts - your fast track to FREE money!
  • Tips and advice on choosing a home loan and more!

Watch here:

Key takeaways from the masterclass

These are some of the key themes the panellists explored - watch the video above for a deep dive into these topics.

  • Very few first home buyers will buy their dream home straight off the bat. Very often it's something you can afford and can comfortably pay off, and in an area you would like to live in - but it's doesn't need to be your "forever home". Once you're on the property ladder, it does become easier to trade up to a bigger and better home as your income increases and your existing property increases in value.
  • Where should you buy a home? A bigger home where you can afford, or a smaller home where you really want to live? It depends on your budget and long-term goals – but staying OUT of the market is the worst case scenario, as it means you're out of the market and not benefitting from any market growth.
  • Renvtesting can be a clever way to get into the market. Buying a home in Sydney or Melbourne may be out of reach, but that doesn't mean the property market overall is out of reach. By investing in an affordable property somewhere else, you can take your first step on the property ladder.

Moderated by Kate Browne, Personal finance expert and Editor-at-large, Finder

Photo of Kate Browne
Kate is Finder's editor-at-large and resident personal finance expert.

She worked as an investigative journalist and lifestyle editor at CHOICE and has written for publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age,, The Australian, The Big Issue, Kidspot and Essential Baby.

Kate co-authored the best-selling non-fiction book The Checkout in 2016. You might also recognise her as one of the writers and presenters of ABC TV's top-rating consumer affairs show The Checkout, which ran from 2013 to 2018.

She is a media spokesperson for Finder and regularly appears on Nine, Seven and on the radio. Kate has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Technology Sydney.

Meet our panel of property experts:

Sarah Megginson, Senior Home Loans Editor, Finder

A finance and property journalist of more than 15 years, Sarah is the senior editor for home loans at Finder.
She was previously the managing editor of Your Investment Property, Australian Broker, and Your Mortgage, a home loan comparison site.
She has ghostwritten or edited over 20 books and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Griffith University.
As a home loans expert, Sarah is a regular media commentator and has a wealth of experience around mortgages, managing money and investing in real estate.

John Pidgeon, Director and Head Property Coach, Solvere Wealth

John is the co-host of Australia's top finance podcasts, My Millennial Money and My Millennial Property.
John has been investing, coaching and teaching people about property for over 20 years.
He has a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma of Financial Planning under his belt as well as being a qualified mortgage broker and buyers agent.

Max Phelps, General Manager, Mortgage Broker, Financial Planner, Money Coach & Author @Golden Eggs

Max Phelps is the author of the Amazon best-seller, Getting Your Money $hit Together.
He was the winner of the FBAA Finance Broker of the Year for NSW/ACT in 2019.
An avid property rentvestor, money coach and singer(!), he specialises in the psychology of money to educate Australians on investing and managing property long-term.
Max holds a B.A. Honours (Economics), a Diploma Financial Services (Finance/Mortgage Broking Management) and a Diploma Financial Services (Financial Planning).

Nerida Conisbee, Chief Economist @Ray White

Nerida is one of Australia's leading property experts, providing market commentary to a wide range of Australian media outlets.
Nerida has more than 20 years of residential and commercial property research experience throughout Asia Pacific and has held senior positions within commercial agencies and major consulting firms.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours and Masters of Commerce, majoring in Econometrics, from the University of Melbourne.

Additional resources for first home buyers



Save $100K in 4 years before you move out of home

What is a parental guarantor

How to compare home loans

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