What you need to do now to buy a property in 2017

Adam Smith 7 February 2017

What to do to buy property in 2017

If you plan to buy property in 2017, here are the steps you’ll need to take to get started.

As the New Year gets into full swing, it’s time to finally start working on those resolutions. If your resolution was to become a property owner, your work really needs to begin in earnest. The steps you’ll need to take, or have already taken, will depend on when you’re planning to buy. We spoke to Mortgage Choice head of corporate affairs Jessica Darnbrough, who offered a month-by-month analysis of how to keep your New Year’s resolution.

What you need to do if you want to buy in:

If you wanted to buy in February

If you were hoping to buy property this month, you should be well underway in your journey. If you set a goal to buy in February but haven’t started planning yet, odds are you’re a bit too late. But Darnbrough says those who’ve put in the time and planning already could still be on track to become homeowners by the end of the month.

What you should have already done

If you’re buying in February, most of your work should be done already, and you should just be awaiting the final steps of settlement. This means that you’ve already found your property, saved your deposit and at the very least gotten home loan pre-approval, if not formal approval. Darnbrough says you’ll also want to have all your paperwork in order, including details of income, assets, expenses and liabilities. You should also look at resolving any credit impairments that might be on your record.

What you should start doing now

If you’re heading toward settlement on a home loan, make sure you’re communicating with your solicitor or conveyancer about any additional documents you’ll need. If the property you’re buying is one you plan to live in, you also need to sort out details like hiring removalists and getting your utilities switched on. Check out our moving guide for a full rundown of everything you’ll need to do.


If you wanted to buy in March

If you’re looking to buy in March, you’ve got a bit more breathing room, but you should still be getting toward the pointy end of your property journey. Odds are you’ve got most things in order already.

What you should have already done

Darnbrough says you should have already done research into the type of property you want to purchase, the suburb you want to buy in and how much you can borrow. You should also have already saved a deposit, and spoken to your bank or mortgage broker about your financial goals. You should have pre-approval on your home loan, and be actively looking at properties for sale that meet your requirements, she says.

What you should start doing now

You need to begin managing your debts and financial obligations to ensure you have a clean credit history, as well as work to resolve any credit impairments you may have on your record, Darnbrough says. You should continue your research into properties that suit your requirements. Now is also a good time to begin getting paperwork together for your home loan.


If you wanted to buy in April

If you’re looking to buy in April, you may still have quite a bit of work ahead of you. However, Darnbrough said there are some tasks you should already have well underway.

What you should have already done

Darnbrough says those wanting to buy in April should have already looked at their credit history to ensure they have the ability to take out a home loan. You also will want to have researched the market to get an idea of what you might expect to spend in your desired area, as well as identified how much of a deposit you’ll need. You should have saved at least 90% of that deposit, and spoken to your bank or broker about pre-approval and your borrowing capacity, she says.

What you should start doing now

Darnbrough recommends continuing to save at least 10% of your pay packet each month. She says you should also begin looking into your lender options. “If you don’t think you will be able to save the deposit you need, don’t fret. There are some lenders that are happy to use rent as evidence of genuine savings,” she says. You should also continue making bill payments and meeting credit obligations on time. Darnbrough says it’s also a good time to look at minimising your debt. “If you owe money on a credit card, pay it off as soon as possible, or at the very least start paying more than the minimum amount each month to ensure it is paid off and you don’t have huge amounts of credit card debt hanging over your head,” she says.


If you wanted to buy in May

May will come around quicker than you realise, so there are a number of tasks you should already have well in hand, as well as a number you’ll want to start now, Darnbrough says.

What you should have already done

Once again, you should have already looked into your credit history to make sure you’ll be eligible to take out a home loan. You should also have a good idea by now of what homes in your desired area are selling for, Darnbrough says. As for your deposit, you should have at least 85% of it saved already. You’ll want to have an idea of what lenders are offering, and the interest rates you might expect to get on a home loan.

What you should start doing now

Continue saving for your deposit, Darnbrough says. While you should have the vast majority of it already saved, it’s a good idea to continue putting aside at least 10% of your pay. Also continue managing all your current debt obligations and bill payments, as well as paying down as much debt as you can. Lowering your debt obligations will increase your borrowing capacity.


If you want to buy in June

If you’re looking to buy in June, you should be in research mode at the moment. You should be looking into lenders, properties and your own creditworthiness to make sure there are no nasty surprises when you’re ready to make your move.

What you should have already done

Most of the work you should have already done is research, Darnbrough indicates. You should have researched the property market, your lender options and your own credit history. Part of this research should have been talking to friends and family about their own buying experiences. They may be able to offer good insight into the types of property or areas you should be checking out, as well as who they sourced their finance through. You should also be sticking to a simple budget, Darnbrough says. This will have ensured that you’ve been successfully managing your expenses and been able to save for a deposit. By this time, you should have 80% of your deposit saved up.

What you should start doing now

This is a good time to pay down debt. If you haven’t already, start paying off your credit cards. If you have multiple credit cards, you should also consider consolidating them. Once you’ve paid your cards down, look into dropping your credit limit. When a lender is looking into your creditworthiness, they consider not just what you actually owe, but the combined total limits of all your credit cards. The lower your credit limits and debt obligations, the better your borrowing power is likely to be.


If you want to buy in July, August, September or October

One thing to think about if you’re looking to buy in July, August, September or October, Darnbrough says, is tax time. If you finalise your return quickly, your refund could potentially be used to bolster your deposit.

What you should have already done

If you want to buy in July, August, September or October, you should have already saved at least 80% of your deposit, Darnbrough says. You should have also done your research and checked into lender and broker options online. It’s important you’re also sticking to a simple budget.

What you should start doing now

Slow and steady wins the race, if you’re looking to buy in July, August, September or October. Start paying down your debt obligations, and make sure you’re keeping up with all your bills. It’s smart to also look at your credit history to make sure there are no nasty surprises that could keep you from getting a home loan.

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You also need to make sure you’re doing your research, Darnbrough says. The more you know about how the home loan process works and what lenders and products are on offer, the better placed you’ll be when you start looking in earnest.


If you want to buy in November

Even if your goal is to buy toward the end of the year, there are many steps you can take now to prepare, Darnbrough says.

What you should have already done

While November may seem a long way off, Darnbrough says you should still be well on your way to saving a deposit if you want to buy by the end of the year. “Data from Mortgage Choice found 61.1% of first home buyers took more than three years to save the deposit needed for their first property purchase,” Darnbrough says, Also, if you’re looking to buy with a significant other, you should make sure you’ve spoken to them to make sure your property goals are aligned, Darnbrough said.

What you should start doing now

This is a good time to begin talking to family and friends who have bought property about their home buying experiences. If you haven’t started researching home loans, Darnbrough says, you should start now. While rates may change between now and the time you apply for a home loan, doing some research will still give you an idea about the different products and lenders in the market.


If you want to buy in December

It’s your last month to fulfill your New Year’s resolution. If you’re planning on making home ownership your gift to yourself this Christmas, you should start the process now, Darnbrough says.

What you should have already done

Once again, you should already be saving a deposit. Most homebuyers take several years to save a deposit, Darnbrough said, so you’ll want to have already begun gathering your deposit and developing good saving habits.

What you should be doing now

Now is a good time to look into savings options if you haven’t already, Darnbrough says. Make sure your deposit funds are going into the right savings account that will offer you the best interest rate. It’s also not premature to begin researching your home loan options, as well as getting a feel for the property market. While rates and property prices are likely to change between now and December, you can still get a better idea of what to expect by beginning your research now.

Ready to start comparing home loans? Check the table below for today's rates

Rates last updated February 23rd, 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
3.59%
3.60%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a low variable rate with no ongoing fees and borrow up to 90% of the value of the property.
3.52%
3.54%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic home loan with a competitive rate and low fees.
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.
3.52%
3.53%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate product with no application or valuation fees offered by a 100% online lender.
3.68%
3.83%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A low interest rate home loan that allows borrowers to borrow up to 80% of the property value.
3.54%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A variable rate home loan with competitive rate, redraw facility and offset account.
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.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application fee or ongoing fees with this loan.
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.
3.64%
3.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.99%
4.00%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low-fee variable rate investor loan with a fast online application process.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate home loan with no application fee.
3.77%
3.81%
$200
$0 p.a.
95%
A basic home loan with a low interest rate and a redraw facility available.
3.69%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy a low variable interest rate and no application or ongoing fees.
3.59%
3.96%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
A variable package loan for a larger loan size with no monthly fees.
3.74%
3.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A special variable rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.62%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A discounted, competitive variable rate loan with limited fees.
3.64%
3.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A home loan with a competitive variable rate, limited fees and plenty of flexibility.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Requires a family member to act as guarantor. Discounted rate available with family pledge loans. Family pledge loans
require no LMI and no deposit. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
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.
3.78%
3.78%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic low-rate home loan that still offers some useful features.
3.99%
4.41%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A discounted home loan variable rate that comes with a competitive package, an eligible credit card and an offset transaction account.
4.11%
4.01%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy a fast application process and flexible repayment options with this fixed rate investment loan.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate with a redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
4.09%
4.12%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
This loan has a high max insured LVR, making it an option for low deposit borrowers.
3.99%
4.62%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Fix your interest rate and pay principal and interest repayments on your investment.
4.14%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
An investment home loan with competitive rate and 100% 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.
3.88%
4.89%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A fixed rate package with flexible repayment options. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
4.09%
4.12%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
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.
3.89%
5.40%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A package investment loan with a competitive, discounted interest rate and 0 application fees.
3.97%
4.02%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a competitive rate without features you may not use.
3.84%
4.83%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a competitive 2-year fixed rate with no application or ongoing fees.
3.97%
3.97%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low-rate basic home loan requiring a 30% deposit.
3.69%
4.00%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
Fix your rate for 3 years and borrow up to 95% LVR.
3.94%
3.97%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access the equity in your home with a competitive interest-only rate and no application fee.
4.09%
4.11%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low variable rate loan with no application or ongoing fees.
4.19%
4.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access to redraw facility and offset account without the annual fee.
3.69%
4.47%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Discount off an already competitive 2 year fixed rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.58%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low interest rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.68%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A no frills loan with a competitive rate and a maximum LVR of 95%.
4.09%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3-year fixed rate loan with a high max insured LVR.
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.
3.64%
3.65%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
A basic home loan with a promotional variable interest rate.
3.88%
4.88%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Refinance from your existing loan and get a $1,250 rebate. Lock in a discounted fixed rate with a low service fee.
3.69%
3.71%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A low rate variable home loan offer with no monthly fees or application fee charge.
3.64%
3.78%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A competitive variable rate home loan with flexible features. You can earn 30,000 Velocity Points for every $100k you borrow (for a limited time, subject to eligibility requirements).
3.69%
3.69%
$0
$398 p.a.
70%
Enjoy a low variable rate with no application and ongoing fees.
3.87%
3.87%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get a competitive interest rate for 3 years and a discounted variable rate when the fixed period ends.
3.79%
3.80%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive rate with no ongoing monthly fees or application fees.
3.99%
4.03%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Enjoy a basic home loan with a high LVR and no application or ongoing fees.
3.85%
4.95%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A discounted package rate for owner occupiers with the ability to package a Qantas rewards earning Amplify credit card. $1,500 cashback available for refinancers. Conditions apply.
3.99%
4.99%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A package home loan with fee free extra repayments available during the fixed term.
4.39%
5.42%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
95%
Lock in a competitive fixed rate for 3 years.
3.59%
4.42%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
This competitive introductory rate is a limited time offer for new owner-occupiers
3.68%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a low variable rate along with some important basic features.

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