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

Adam Smith 7 February 2017 NEWS

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.

Get your free credit check

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 August 22nd, 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
loans.com.au Essentials - Variable (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Competitive interest rate and limited fees
A simple mortgage with a competitive interest rate and no application or monthly fees. Borrow up to $2 million from a convenient online lender.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000
3.59%
3.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Special discounted interest rate
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
Tic:Toc Live in Loan Variable Rate - Principal & Interest
3.64%
3.65%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get approved faster with a speedy online application
Low interest rate and limited fees. Add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
ClickLoans The Online Home Loan - LVR <70% with Offset
3.70%
3.90%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Requires a 30% deposit
Enjoy all the benefits of the Basic Home Loan and take advantage of an offset account.
ME Flexible Home Loan With Member Package - LVR <=80% $400k up to $699,999 (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.69%
4.11%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Save on interest with a 100% offset account
Unlock a range of savings with this competitive package home loan offer. Offset account and redraw facility included.
Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤90% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
3.49%
4.57%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Save on interest with a 100% offset account
Loans over $150k get a discount off an already low fixed rate. Available for NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan - LVR up to 70% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.75%
3.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
This sharp rate product requires a 30% deposit
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get a flexible loan with the ability to split up to 6 times.
ClickLoans The Online Home Loan - LVR <80%
3.84%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Low fee online mortgage
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a free redraw facility with this innovative online lender.
Mortgage Choice Plus Home Loan - OO LVR <=70% ($150k+) P&I Only
3.71%
3.71%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A variable rate home loan that has a lot of flexible features. This loan has a 100% offset account.
Mortgage House Affordable First Home Buyer Special (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.64%
3.68%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive interest rate for first home buyers that keeps fees low. You will need a 20% deposit and can borrow up to 500000.
Virgin Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR <= 80% ($500k to $750k Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.68%
3.82%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points with this mortgage to spend on flights and more (subject to eligibility requirements). Redraw facility available on this variable rate home loan. Competitive interest rate.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Home Loan - New Customer Offer ($150k+ Owner Occupier, P&I) Discount 1
3.72%
4.10%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
100% offset account plus package discounts
New borrowers or refinancers can get a discounted rate with this package loan. Bonus $1,500 cashback for refinancers.
Mortgage House Advantage Variable Home Loan COMBO - Owner Occupier 70 (Special)
3.64%
3.79%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
70%
100% offset account and a competitive rate
Low rate, low fee loan for owner-occupiers. You will need a 30% deposit to get this mortgage.
Homestar Finance Variable Rate Home Loan - Owner Occupier ($900 cashback)
3.54%
3.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
$900 cashback offer on settlement
Get a competitive rate, save on fees and access a 100% offset account plus redraw facility.
CUA Balanced Variable Home Loan - New Lending only (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Competitive interest rate and low fees. Available with a 10% deposit. Partial offset account attached (offset up to $15,000).
Bankwest Complete Home Loan Package Variable - LVR <=90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.70%
4.13%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Get this loan with a 10% deposit
Package your loan with an eligible credit card for discounts on rates and fees, and get a 100% offset account.
Virgin Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR <= 80% ($750k+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.64%
3.78%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Earn thousands of Velocity Frequent Flyer Points on your mortgage (subject to eligibility requirements). Plus, access a 100% offset account to save on interest.
Yellow Brick Road Rate Smasher Home Loan
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low interest rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
Bank Australia Basic Home Loan - Special LVR <80% (Owner Occupier)
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Sharp interest rate and low fees
This special rate mortgage has no ongoing fees and offers flexible repayments. Save $595 in establishment fees before 30 September.
Community First Accelerator Home Loan Package - >$250k New Money Offer (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.59%
3.99%
$600
$395 p.a.
95%
Get interest rate discounts and waived fees on this package loan with a 100% offset account.
Bankwest Complete Home Loan Package Fixed - 2 Year Fixed Rate LVR <90% (Owner Occupier, P&I & $200k+)
3.88%
4.40%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Lock in a very competitive 2 year rate and get package discounts on your credit card and offset account.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% (Up to $750,000 Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.85%
3.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Flexible, low fee mortgage
Pay no application and ongoing fees with Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan. Split and redraw facilities included.
Mortgage Choice Basic Variable Rate - OO LVR <= 70% ($150k +) P&I Only
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A basic variable home loan that offers a competitive interest rate with no application fees and no ongoing fees.
Tic:Toc Live in Fixed Rate Home Loan - 1 Year (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.64%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Apply online for this fixed rate, low-fee loan with redraw facilities and an optional offset account.
Bankwest Complete Home Loan Package Fixed - 3 Year Fixed Rate LVR <90% (Owner Occupier, P&I & $200k+)
3.98%
4.41%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Take advantage of a low 3 year fixed rate, 40% offset account and no application fee.
loans.com.au Offset Variable - Up to 80% LVR (Owner Occupier P&I)
3.72%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
100% offset account and a 10% deposit option
Save on interest by taking advantage of a 100% offset account along with no ongoing fees or application fees.
Tic:Toc Live in Loan Fixed Rate - 3 Years (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.84%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A fixed rate loan with free redraws, few ongoing fees. Apply online with a fast approval process.
loans.com.au Package Special - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, IO)
3.89%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Sharp fixed rate loan
Pay no application or ongoing fee and borrow up to 80% LVR.
Mortgage Choice Basic Variable Rate - OO LVR <= 80% ($150k +) P&I Only
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic owner-occupier home loan with a low variable rate that requires a 20% deposit.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society  Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate - 1 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.59%
4.74%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Get this package loan with a 10% deposit
Enjoy a competitive rate with no application fee for this package loan.
Beyond Bank Low Rate Special Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier)
3.79%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Minimal fees and a 100% offset account
Access an offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this special variable rate for owner-occupiers.
State Custodians Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR 80% to 90% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.88%
3.89%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Low deposit, low rate mortgage
Save on interest with a free 100% offset account and buy your property with just a 10% deposit.
Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan - Up to 110% LVR
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Borrow up to 110% with a guarantor
Pay no deposit or LMI and get a discounted rate with this family pledge loan. Requires a family member to act as guarantor. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
Auswide Bank Variable Home Loan Plus with Freedom Package - $100K+ LVR <= 90% (Special Offer, Owner Occupier)
3.76%
4.15%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Discount special offer with a 100% offset account
A high maximum LVR home loan with redraw facility and additional payments. Get this mortgage with a 10% deposit.
Heritage Bank Discount Variable Home Loan - LVR <=80% (Owner Occupier) New Customers Only
3.67%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Low interest rate for new customers
Family guarantee option available. Enjoy flexible repayments and a low minimum loan amount.
Mortgage Choice Plus Home Loan - OO LVR <=80% ($150k+) P&I Only
3.81%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A home loan with a competitive rate and plenty of handy features. This product comes with a 100% offset account.
Bank First First Rate Home Loan - LVR < 80%
3.64%
3.69%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
Low fees and low interest rate
A competitive variable rate for borrowers with a 20% deposit or more. Guarantor option available.
AMP Essential Home Loan  -  $100,000 and above (Owner Occupier)
4.04%
4.07%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get this loan with a 10% deposit
For a limited time, pay no application or settlement fees. You can also take advantage of a free redraw facility.
loans.com.au Offset Variable - Package Offset (Investment, P&I)
3.97%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Competitive investment package loan
Package your owner occupied loan with investment loan and receive a discounted investment rate. 100% offset account included.
AMP Professional Package Variable Rate Home Loan - $750,000 and above (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.72%
4.11%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
10% deposit option available
Package your loan with other AMP products and save on rates and fees.
Macquarie Bank Offset Home Loan  - LVR ≤ 70% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.75%
4.00%
$0
$248 p.a.
70%
100% offset account included
Borrowers with a 30% deposit can get this competitive rate.
QBANK Fixed Home Loan - 1 Years Fixed Discounted LVR 90% (Owner Occupier Special Offer)
3.62%
4.49%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a competitive rate and avoid ongoing fees. This loan is only available to current and former employees of eligible Queensland government organisations.
ME Basic Home Loan - LVR <=80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
4.09%
4.11%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Simple residential mortgage product
This variable rate loan keeps the features simple and fees low. This loan is offered by a 100% online lender.
loans.com.au - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.89%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Available with a 10% deposit
Borrow up to 90% of the value of the property you're buying, and pay no application fee.
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR<=90% Incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.68%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Available with a 10% deposit
Get one free online redraw per month and pay no ongoing fees. Application fees are waived for loans above $150,000.
State Custodians Low Rate LOC - LVR up to 80% (Owner Occupier, IO)
3.93%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Use your home equity with a low rate
A low-fee line of credit loan from an online lender. Unlock the equity in your home and make interest-only repayments with a competitive rate.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan - LVR up to 70% (Investor, P&I)
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Save on fees with this investor mortgage
Investors with a 30% deposit can get this low rate loan to fund their property portfolio.
State Custodians Low Rate Home Loan with Offset - LVR 80% to 90% (Investor, P&I)
4.13%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Available with a 10% deposit
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
Greater Bank Great Rate Home Loan - Discounted Variable ($150K+ Owner Occupier) New Loans only
3.83%
3.83%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Special discount rate
New customers can get a discounted variable rate and a fee-free redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
Mortgage House Advantage Variable Home Loan - LVR 95 Special (Owner Occupier, P&I)
4.24%
4.27%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Low deposit loan for investors
Buy a home with just a 5% deposit and get flexible repayment options and a redraw facility.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.59%
4.14%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Competitive interest rate
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Years Fixed (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.89%
4.94%
$595
$0 p.a.
90%
10% deposit option available
Borrow up to 90% of the value of the property you're buying and pay no application or ongoing fees.
UBank UHomeLoan - 3 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.74%
4.01%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Lock in a low rate for 3 years
A competitive fixed interest rate product with no ongoing bank fees.
ClickLoans The Online Investor Home Loan - LVR <80%
4.18%
4.18%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Competitive investment mortgage
Investors get a 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this loan from an innovative online lender.
ME Flexible Home Loan Fixed - 2 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.99%
4.86%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Fix your rate for 2 years
Access a fee-free 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Investor, P&I)
3.99%
4.62%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Flexible fixed investment loan
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
ClickLoans The Online Home Loan - LVR <70%
3.70%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
You need a 30% deposit to get this mortgage
Get a discount for keeping your LVR at 70% or below with this innovative online lender.
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate -Discount Offer for Investor Variable P&I Rate
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Special discounted interest rate
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required.
Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 2 Year Fixed LVR ≤90% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
3.69%
4.54%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
10% deposit option available
A fixed rate loan with a 100% offset account and the option to make additional repayments. Loans over $150k receive a discounted rate. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
Yellow Brick Road Empower Home Loan - 3 Years Fixed LVR up to 95% (Owner Occupier P&I)
4.29%
4.26%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3-year fixed rate loan with a high max insured LVR.

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