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3 home-buying tools to help get you on the property ladder sooner


Don't go it alone – there are some helpful tools, services and offers to help first home buyers on their journey to homeownership.

Sponsored by Suncorp. With Suncorp, you can find a range of home loans to suit your needs and lifestyle. To find out more, visit the Suncorp website. T&Cs apply.

Welcome to the world of buying your first home: deposits, stamp duty, conveyancing, interest rates, offset accounts, and of course, actually searching for the right property!

But don't be overwhelmed. There are a myriad of tools to help make the journey to home-buying simpler.

You're busy searching for the right home loan, so let's not waste any time and jump right in.

Here are three crucial home-buying tools you can use so you're better prepared for any unexpected costs and hurdles.

1. Borrowing power calculator

You have an image of your dream home in your head, you know the area you want to buy in and you can smell the paint you've chosen for your walls.

Before you get too excited, you should work out how much you might be able to borrow. You'll not only have a better idea of your budget for that home you're envisioning, but it can also help you work out if you need a higher deposit or to revisit your monthly expenses.

Thankfully, that's not hard to do. Suncorp Bank has a helpful Borrowing Power calculator on its website. Fill in some information about yourself, your income and your general expenses, and you'll have an estimate of how much you could be eligible to borrow.

The key word here is 'could be'. Results are merely a general indication. There are always factors that could impact your final borrowing power when it comes to the real assessment.

Suncorp Bank's calculator doesn't just leave you there with a big number, either. It helps you calculate different deposit amounts and compares different Suncorp Bank home loans and how their interest rates change depending on your deposit amount.

For example, for first home buyers, Suncorp Bank offers special discounted rates on loans of $150k+. You can apply with a deposit as low as 5% (excluding costs) and may still be eligible for a great rate.

2. Home loan repayment calculator

Even if the borrowing power calculator shows that you can borrow enough money to buy the house of your dreams and then some, it doesn't mean you should.

Now you know your estimated borrowing limit, you have the information to calculate your potential monthly repayments which can be determined by using Suncorp Bank's Home Loan Repayment Calculator.

The handy thing with this calculator is that it allows you to select and view a variety of Suncorp Bank's home loan products so that you can see what your repayments would look like on a genuine rate.

If you've seen a different rate elsewhere, you can choose to enter your own rate too.

When your monthly repayment is displayed, you can compare the costs between monthly, weekly and fortnightly. (A handy tip: Repaying weekly or fortnightly helps you repay the loan faster, but some months you will end up paying more money.)

Take a look at the repayment and work out if it is feasible with your income and expenses. Don't forget to leave some room for those months where the bills come in, the cat needs to go to the vet and the kids have a birthday party to attend twice a week.

3. Stamp duty calculator

Just when you think you've thought of it all, there are further costs in addition to repaying the loan that you need to think about.

It's important to know ahead of time what the costs are so you're not caught out.

First and foremost, your home loan lender can charge their own fees. On top of the lender fees, you've also got a number of other government and legal fees that come with buying property.

Stamp duty is a tax home most home buyers will need to pay for the cost of transferring the property. It is payable when you buy a home but not when you sell and it can be expensive. There are also upfront costs like mortgage registration fees, transfer fees and title search fees.

And while it's not a cost through your bank, Suncorp Bank has a helpful Stamp Duty calculator. All you need to do is enter a few details like the value of the property you want to buy, what state or territory you live in and whether it's a home to live in or invest in.

Whether you need to make some adjustments to reach your ideal borrowing limit or you are ready to go, it may help to go in prepared.

Learn more about home loans with Suncorp

Sponsored by Suncorp. With Suncorp, you can find a range of home loans to suit your needs and lifestyle. To find out more, visit the Suncorp website. T&Cs apply.

Banking and home loans products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882 Australian Credit Licence 229882 ("Suncorp Bank") to approved applicants only. Please read the relevant Product Information Document, and Lending Fees and Charges before making a decision regarding any Suncorp Bank products. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request or on Suncorp Bank's Product Information Documents and Forms page.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.
Image: @LeoPatrizi via
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