What to do (right now!) to buy property in 2018

Calendar with days coloured in.

Did you make a new year's resolution to get a foot on the property ladder? It's time to start working toward your goal.

If you want to make 2018 the year you buy your first home, get ready for a lot of hard work. Depending on the month in which you're looking to buy, there are some steps you should already have taken and some you need to get started on now.

  • January

If you’re looking to buy this month, your buying process should be well and truly reaching its conclusion. If you’ve just begun your home loan journey, it’s going to take longer than the few weeks left in January to see it through to its conclusion.

What you should’ve already done

Pretty much everything. Your home loan should be sorted. You should have already signed a contract and paid a deposit for your property. You should also have retained the services of a conveyancer or solicitor. In other words, you’re well on the way to moving into your new home.

What you should be doing now

You should be preparing for settlement and moving day. You’ll need to make certain you have enough money in your account to cover settlement expenses. This could include stamp duty, title transfer fees, council rates, settlement fees and conveyancing fees. You’ll also want to be preparing for your move. You can use this checklist to make sure you're on track.

  • February

If you're looking to buy in February, once again you should be well under way. There's still technically time to hit a February goal, but you will have had to already laid some significant groundwork.

What you should’ve already done

You should at the very least have home loan pre-approval to get an idea of the price range you're looking for. You should also have found your property and hopefully have already signed contracts and paid your deposit.

What you should be doing now

If you haven't already found your property, you should be looking to buy at auction within the next week or so if you want to settle by the end of February. If you have already found your property, you should be preparing for settlement by getting help from either a solicitor or conveyancer. If you're ahead of the game and have a settlement date locked down, you should be sorting out removalists and coordinating the transfer of your utilities and services.

  • March

A March property goal gives you a bit more breathing room, but you should still have most of the logistics sorted out.

What you should’ve already done

You should have saved your home loan deposit and be ready to pay should you find a property and succeed at auction or in private treaty negotiations. You should also have researched how much you can borrow to give you a good idea of the type of property you're looking for, and you should have done some suburb research to get an idea of the area you'll be looking in.

What you should be doing now

Now is the time to get home loan pre-approval. You should compare home loans to find the right lender and product for your situation. You'll also want to make sure you have your paperwork in order to make your home loan application process as smooth as possible.

  • April

If you want to buy in April, you still have some time to get yourself sorted. But you also shouldn't be complacent as there's a fair bit of work ahead.

What you should’ve already done

You should have already assessed your credit history and borrowing power. You should also have already saved at least 90% of your deposit and have a firm savings plan in place to save the remaining 10%.

What you should be doing now

You should continue saving your deposit. You should also begin researching suburbs and housing types to find areas where you might want to buy. You'll also want to begin researching home loans to educate yourself on the features and home loan types that might suit your situation.

  • MayCalendar icon labelled 2018.

May seems like the distant future at the moment, but it will come around quickly. You should be practicing financial discipline that will carry you through your home loan journey.

What you should’ve already done

You should have looked at your credit score and identified any errors or debts you need to repay. You should actively be paying down debt obligations. You should also have at least 85% of your deposit saved.

What you should be doing now

Continue managing all your bill payments and debt obligations as well as setting aside a portion of your pay to build up your deposit. You'll want to put aside at least 10% of your pay.

  • June

If you're looking to buy mid-year, there are a number of things you can do right now to make your goal a reality.

What you should’ve already done

You should have researched your credit score as well as looked at property market trends and areas where you might want to buy. You should also have at least 80% of your deposit saved by this point.

What you should be doing now

You should begin paying down any outstanding debt you have, including credit cards, personal loans and car loans. The less debt you carry, the better your purchasing power will be. You should also reduce the limits on any credit cards you pay down as lenders will look at the combined limit of your credit cards rather than what you owe on them.

  • July

If you're looking to move into your new house mid-winter, start warming up for it now by doing some research and budgeting.

What you should’ve already done

You should be well on the way to saving your deposit and have saved at least 75% of it. You should be sticking to a budget and savings plan, and you should have started researching lender options and the property market.

What you should be doing now

You should be continuing to meet all your debt obligations and monthly bills as well as sticking to your savings plan. You also might want to take advantage of the start of the new financial year to ask your employer for a raise to help boost your borrowing power.

  • August, September and October

If you're planning to buy in the latter half of the year, you'll be getting into the spring selling season. This means great home loan deals, but also a lot of competition in the property market. You'll need to be prepared to move quickly.

What you should’ve already done

You should have around 70-75% of your deposit saved and should have done some initial property market research. You should also be staying on top of all your bills and debt obligations to safeguard your credit score.

What you should be doing now

This is a good time to research your credit score to see where you stand. If there are any mistakes, you'll need to contact the credit bureau or enlist the aid of a credit repair agency to get things sorted out. If you have outstanding debts, now is the time to take care of them.

  • November

If you want to buy toward the end of the year, start talking to people who've achieved their property dream to get some inspiration and information.

What you should’ve already done

You should have a substantial sum saved for your deposit, and you should have started your property market research. Even though conditions in the market could change between now and November, you'll want to have a good idea of some potential areas to buy in.

What you should be doing now

You might want to have a chat to some of your friends or family who have bought property in the past to get a feel for their experiences. Ask them what they learned, what unexpected challenges they faced and what they would do differently if given the chance.

  • December

If your new year's resolution is to become a property owner, December is the last month to pull it off. This might seem like you have plenty of time, but you'll still need to work hard to hit your goal.

What you should’ve already done

You should already have a substantial amount of your deposit saved if you want to buy by the end of the year. It takes most people several years to save a deposit, so you should be well under way by now.

What you should be doing now

You should think about ramping up your savings plan to hit your goal by the end of the year. Remember that you may have to save for stamp duty as well as at least 5% of the purchase price of your property. You should also start researching the property market to get an idea for where you might want to buy.

Compare loans for first home buyers

Rates last updated February 20th, 2018
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.52%
3.54%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic home loan with a competitive rate and low fees.
3.52%
3.53%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate product with no application or valuation fees offered by a 100% online lender.
3.69%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A special limited time offer for owner occupiers. An IMB Transaction Account must be opened with this loan.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application fee or ongoing fees with this loan.
3.64%
4.03%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Apply for a new owner occupier loan or refinance from another lender and receive this discounted rate.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate home loan with no application fee.
3.69%
4.86%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A special rate for first home buyers buying residential property and borrowing over $150K. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
3.96%
3.98%
$350
$0 p.a.
90%
Take advantage of a redraw facility, competitive variable rate and no application or settlement fees for a limited time.
3.85%
4.82%
$600
$35 monthly ($420 p.a.)
90%
Low fixed rate offer from HSBC. Reverts to a discounted variable rate after the initial term.
3.74%
3.76%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A home loan with a special rate for owner occupiers. Free offset account.
3.65%
4.84%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A 2 years fixed platinum package that has $0 application and a loan redraw facility.
3.89%
4.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a low interest rate and borrow up to 90% (with LMI) of your property's value.
3.74%
4.57%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
A two year discounted rate which reverts to an ongoing life of loan discount afterwards.
3.49%
4.49%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.64%
3.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.97%
4.02%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a competitive rate without features you may not use.
3.79%
4.97%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Investors can take advantage of a short term fixed rate with no application or ongoing fees.
4.17%
4.21%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive no frills home loan. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
3.99%
4.77%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with a redraw facility and split loan options, plus no application fee.
4.19%
4.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get access to a redraw facility and offset account without the annual fee.
3.94%
4.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A low 3-year fixed rate with the option to split your loan for free.
4.39%
4.78%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Package your home loan to get discounts on your interest rate and other financial products.
3.68%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A no frills loan with a competitive rate and a maximum LVR of 95%.
3.59%
4.42%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
This competitive introductory rate is a limited time offer for new owner-occupiers

Compare up to 4 providers

Aussie Home Loans Logo

Enter your details below to receive an obligation-free quote from an Aussie home loans expert today

finder.com.au guarantees the privacy and security of your details

Applications are subject to approval. Conditions, fees and charges apply. Please note that you need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to apply.

Credit services for Aussie Select, Aussie IQ and Aussie Optimizer products are provided by AHL Investments Pty Ltd ACN 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786 ("Aussie"), and its appointed credit representatives. Credit for Aussie Select products is provided by Residential Mortgage Group Pty Ltd ACN 152 378 133 Australian Credit Licence 414133 (“RMG”). RMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 234945. Credit for Aussie Optimizer products is provided by Perpetual Limited ABN 86 000 431 827 (Lender). Credit for Aussie IQ is provided by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502. Home loans issued by the Lender are serviced by Macquarie Securitisation Limited ABN 16 003 297 336, Australian Credit Licence 237863 (MSL).

Aussie is a trade mark of AHL Investments Pty Ltd. Aussie is a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ©2018 AHL Investments Pty Ltd ABN 27 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786.

By submitting this form, you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy and the Aussie privacy policy.

Aussie Home Loans is both a lender and a mortgage broker, and offers a range of services.

  • FREE Suburb and Property Report with every appointment.
  • Access 3,000+ loans from over 20 lenders.
  • Get expert help with your loan application, including paperwork and eligibility.
  • Over 1000 brokers who are able to help you in your local area.

Aussie Home Loans Lender Logos

The Adviser’s number 1 placed mortgage broker 5 years running (2013-2017)

Image: Shutterstock

Adam Smith

Adam has more than five years of experience writing about the Australian home loan market.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Home Loan Offers

Important Information*
loans.com.au Essentials - Variable (Owner Occupier, P&I)

A competitive interest rate home loan with interest only options. Interest rate 3.52%p.a.
comp rate of 3.54%p.a.

Tic:Toc Live in Loan Variable Rate - Principal & Interest

A competitive variable rate product with no application or valuation fees offered by a 100% online lender.

NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier P&I) First Home Buyer Special

A special rate for first home buyers buying residential property and borrowing over $150K. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question