The First Home Buyer Guide 2020


Full Video

Clint here from Hero Broker. What I want to do is just make a quick video around things that you should know or need to know being a first home buyer and just things that would make it the process a lot easier for you to be able to go from thinking of buying a house to actually buying a house. So if this is something that you might be interested in, then stick around.

Step #1 | Define what you want

All right, so step number one, the biggest thing that you can do to make this process so much easier is to really identify what you want and what you’re looking for. So the best analogy that I like to use is when I go to the shops, I’m going to the shops because there’s something I know that’s there that I’m looking for. I’m in there, I’m getting that item and I’m getting out. I’m not hanging around looking for anything else. I’m going there with the mains.

Girlfriend on the other hand, this is a touchy subject, but girlfriend on the other hand we might go to the shops for something, then we start looking at something over here and something over there. And the same things happens when you’re looking for a house. So if you know a least what suburb you want to live in, what area, what top of house, and then your ideal amount that you want to spend, that really narrows down what you’re looking for instead of just looking at all these different properties. And I know it’s really easy to get carried away because properties look so good on or any other online sites. That next minute you start looking at some mansion down on some waterfront to just stick with what you’re looking for.

And those sites have filters that you can use. But basically it really narrows down your criteria. There’s only so many open houses you can go to on a weekend. There’s only so many real estates that you can talk to and it’s best to just get that criteria and then just really focus on that. So a big question that comes into that is why you want to buy a house? Is it for investment? Is it because you’ve got a growing family? Is it because you’re still at home with mum and dad and you want to buy your own place? Why is it moving out? Where is it and what is it that you want? Define that. And it makes it so much easier to find a place.

Step #2 | Calculate If you can afford what you want

The next thing is once you’ve figured out what you want to buy or roughly where you want to buy as well is to figure out if you’re going to afford it, if your borrowing capacity meets your expectations of what you want.

So there’s a couple of really simple borrowing capacity calculators that you can jump on our site and use. And basically rule of thumb is times your income by five. So if you earn 50 grand a year, then typically it’s around 250 grand that you can be lent. But the one thing where a lot of people get caught out on with borrowing capacity is great, I can afford this house, it’s in this location, all matches out, fine. But then it’s the deposit. So the next thing need to work out is your deposit. How much deposit can you get together? So you can either borrow money from mum and dad, which I think it’s considered Australia’s sixth largest bank or something stupid like that, like the $64 billion worth of money in the mum and dad bank in Australia.

But basically you can use a parent as the guarantor, you can have some of their equity out of their property to go towards your deposit or they can lend you money and borrow you money. But as long as you just declare that and put it into the application where it came from, and you can normally do a stat deck if it’s a gift, just say it’s a gift. But basically that’s what you need to work out now. Because the rule of thumb is that you need at least 10% deposit to be able to get approved for a loan. So some banks will lend you up to 95%. So just making sure you’ve got that deposit, they’re ready to go.

One thing to remember with having a 10% deposit is that you’re going to have to pay lenders mortgage insurance. So lenders mortgage insurance is actually for the lender, it’s not for yourself. So that’s the bank basically is saying, look, there’s still a bit of risk here because you don’t have the 20% deposit or in some cases even a 30% deposit for some units or rural properties. But basically that’s a large fee that you’re going to have to pay. But you can sometimes bridge that with a personal loan and it can work out cheaper. But that’s a huge thing to remember with a 10% deposit. Or even if you’ve got a five 5% deposit, yes there’s lenders that will lend you money, but it does get a lot more expensive.

Step #3 | Make sure you allow for fee’s

So the other thing you need to work out is along with that is the fees that come with it. So there’s a lot of other little fees that happen on the transaction, which a lot of people don’t see. And there’s application fees, there’s government fees, there’s title search fees, there’s all these solicitor fees that come into it, but roughly you kind of looking at it around two grand that all these fees come into. And it depends on how much the bank will actually cover themselves on a particular loan product.

But the biggest thing is stamp duty. So you really need to work out how much stamp duty is going to be on your property. It’s quite expensive and there’s a bunch of calculators you can use to work that out as well. If you’re a first home buyer, different States give you a concession on new stamp duty or they’ll give you a big reduction or they might put $10,000 towards it or whatever it is. But this is something that some banks might help you cover the cost of stamp duty, but it is a huge chunk that it needs to account for. So if all those things line up, basically you’ve narrowed down roughly where you want to buy. You’ve got a preapproval. Basically, this is the part I’m getting through now. You’ve worked out that you think you’ve got enough deposit, you’ve used all the calculators. Now the next thing is you need to get a preapproval.

Step #4 | Getting your pre approval and full approvals

Now, pre approval it’s a really simple process and it’s something that you do when you’re doing an application on our site. If you do that application on our site, it doesn’t affect your credit score, it just goes to our team so we can look at it and say thumbs up, looks good and that means our banks looked at your application, looked at all the details and from their point of view they’ve also given it thumbs up and said, yep, for this house in this location, with this deposit, with this income, this is what we’ll get you approved for. So the one thing you need to realise with a pre approval is that’s not all it is. It’s just a simple. Have a look at your details. It’s not the the same as a full conditional approval because think about it.

I can put down on a pre approval that I’m earning $500,000 a year and the bank will look at it and go, yeah, that’s great, but now you need to show that you actually earned that half a million dollars a year and this is where it gets to a conditional approval. So pre approval looks good, so you can have a bit more confidence when you’re out there looking for houses. Now the conditional approval process normally happens when it comes to, okay, you’ve identified a house, you go this is the house that we’re looking to buy and this is where… Or maybe even this is a place that we’re looking to buy at auction and this is where you start getting involved with the bank and they’ll start doing valuations on their end to make sure that you have conference going in and put an offer on that place. And then the conditional approval process and the settlement process is basically after all that’s happened, the banks will come in and say, now we’re going to send someone in there, do evaluation.

We’re actually going to talk to the current owners. We’re going to get the solicitors involved, we’re going to get you properly approved, get you a contract ready to sign. So a lot of that really happens in the background. You’ll have people like us basically asking you for documents because the banks will be coming to us and saying, hey, we need to verify their payslips. We’ve got a question about this thing on their bank statement, which I’ll get into a whole nother, a bunch of videos talking about all that sort of stuff as well. But basically that’s what they’ll do. They’ll just be, we’ll be coming to you asking you a whole bunch of questions that will be getting a whole bunch of stuff together and basically they’ll stamp it, get approved and then that’s when you’ll get a set settlement date in time as well where everyone’s agreed that’s going to be a transfer title over and then that’s when you get the keys.

So if you basically go along that timeline, like I said, it should help you out and make it so much easier. First, know what you want, know what you’re looking for. Second, can you afford what you want? Do you need to go back, loop back to number one and maybe readjust. Third, if that all looks good, get a preapproval. Just get a simple preapproval from a bank, you can come through us and just get a second opinion from an actual finance expert or a bank saying, yes, it looks good on our end.

And then the third point is basically to go out and start looking at houses and start talking about maybe making an offer on a house. And that’s where you can engage back with the bank or back with the broker to basically say, hey, I’m looking at this house. Can we have someone from the bank actually look at it and confirm that they think it’s a good deal as well? And then the full parties basically just make the offer and it’s done.

Don’t forget you can always give us a call on 02 8116 1065 or summit your online application on our site.

The one thing you need to save money when buying, selling & moving house.

The one thing you need to save money when buying, selling & moving house.
 | Hero Broker

It’s the key ingredient of any negotiation.

It’s what allows you to get the best deal, with the right quality, on anything you want to buy (or sell) and especially when you’re thinking about a new home.

The best thing, it’s simpler to get than you think and once you know how to use it you’ll be equipped to get the best deal every time.

t’s all about… LEVERAGE.

The more you have, the more you can negotiate what’s best for you.

BUT, how do you get it?

Here’s 3 quick tips to get more leverage to help you save money for your home:

1. Buy when there’s an oversupply
Take for example with Home Loans right now, we’re in a buyers’ market. The interest and cash rate are at some of the lowest rates seen and this means it’s harder for banks to get the volume they need for growth in a market that some consider highly constrained.

This means more leverage for you when negotiating rates as gaining home loan customers while the market isn’t in strong growth is more important than ever before. Our team is here to help when it comes to knowing what banks are prepared to pay in the current market to win your business.

2. Compare the market
Like any market, there are usually many businesses competing for your dollar. Previously it used to be a pretty hard slog to call around, organize appointments, get quotes, try to compare apples with oranges, deal with the individual sell from every business and then the continual follow up calls would be enough to put even the shrewdest saver off looking for a better deal.

Luckily there are now much simpler ways to build your leverage by knowing the range of prices across the market. This is exactly why began.

Don’t forget, once you’ve found your new home, you can save even more money. Check out removalists comparison websites like to help compare instant online availability and pricing before you make the big move.

Whether it’s finding a home loan, negotiating a buy / sell price, or moving house you’ll find plenty of ways to gain leverage by comparing all the options QUICKLY vs ringing around.

3. Take the emotion out of it (and save time in the process)
When you invest your time, you can’t help but become emotionally attached to whatever it is that you are trying to buy or sell. For many purchases, this can lead to ignoring key information and over biasing the emotional signals from the sales process.

In purchases that are considered necessities, but you don’t really need to engage with the service every day, brokers can give you the independence, not to mention your time back, as we do all the work. In many instances there are commissions and kick backs, so it’s important to know that there is no sway towards one supplier or the other. But when weighing up the cost of your own time and other things you’d rather be doing, there’s a lot to be gained from taking yourself out of the equation to get the leverage you need.

For more information about how we can help you find the right time to buy or switch, compare all the options available to suit your needs and give you the time back while we do the heavy lifting, start an enquiry here.

How To Buying A Home In A Falling Market

This is a step by step guide on how to use the current lending environment to your advantage. Every change in the market provides an opportunity and there are plenty of opportunities in the current environment for would be home buyers. A famous quote from Warren Buffet,

“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

To start off, it’s important to understand what has been causing the current change in the housing market and why there is so much negative media around housing prices at the moment. It was a number of things that built up the market and a perfect storm that brought it to a screeching halt.

How To Buying A Home In A Falling Market | Hero Broker

Here are a few reasons (not all) why we had such an increase in property values. To start with, for a number of years Australia has been flooded with overseas investors buying into the property market, soaking up the supply, increasing demand, on top of this many local investors were also building their portfolios with interest only loans, you then throw in some cheap credit and an ever increasing population and, well, things get a bit crazy. To put it short, FOMO is real and when it’s hot, it’s hot. Prices went through the roof and banks were the main driver, lending out more money to people than in Australia’s history.

Now, let’s look at what’s changed. Banks have made it harder for overseas investors, they have all but frozen interest only loans, they have clamped down on investors with multiple properties, the royal commission has made banks a lot more cautious and they are now taking more scrutiny to people’s income and expenses before lending money for homes. This has been the main driving factor preventing people from being able to borrow as much as they used to. But don’t worry, I’m here to tell how that’s a good thing and how to use it to your advantage.

Currently, the housing market (especially in Sydney and Melbourne) is struggling. Many vendors are simply not getting the offers they used to get, auction clearance rates are falling through the roof going down to 43% in Sydney and 46% in Melbourne. However, let me start by saying that auction clearance rates don’t necessarily represent the number of buyers in the market, it simply represents the number of homes not selling above the vendor’s reserve price. So, if you see “passed in” it means that the vendor had offers below what the reserve was.

How To Buying A Home In A Falling Market | Hero Broker



Two things need to change to improve this, 1) vendors need to accept lower prices or 2) buyers need to put up more cash. The probability of option 2 will be the least likely to happen. Buyers are simply not getting the same levels of mortgage debt that they once were, but this is happening to everyone. So, if you have recently gone for a loan and got approved for less than what you hoped, don’t stress. Everyone is in the same boat, which makes the coming months and years, the best time to pick up a bargain.

Your guide to picking up a bargain in a falling property market

Step 1 Get pre-approved

This first step is finding out what your borrowing capacity is and what loans are available to you. You can get answers for different loans on to which you can review loans independently an connect with a broker to assess your situation and what goals your trying to achieve.


Step 2 Research

Often it’s your local area that you will know best. Before thinking of researching some mining town, it’s best to look in your own backyard. Commonly, you already have a good feel and know the history or your local area pretty well. Coupled with some extra research, you will get a good sense of what’s good value in your area and have a better feel for what’s a good offer to make.


Step 3 Place your bid

The key to getting a good price is to be a patient bidder and take your emotions out of the purchase. The market is filled with investors and many are looking to exit the property market. Once more, due to changes in interest only loans, many more will be looking to sell in the future. Knowledge of this is critical, don’t be disillusioned that you may miss out on a purchase by making a low offer.

How To Buying A Home In A Falling Market | Hero Broker

Remember that you are now in a buyers’ market, so don’t get pushed around by any real estate agent. Go in low and don’t back down. Remember as I said before, many are in the same position when it comes to borrowing capacity, so there is a good chance many others will also be bidding below the advertised sales price.


Step 4 Negotiate

Use the credit crunch to your advantage. When negotiating, inform the vendors about the current lending environment, this will be an educational piece than anything. You need to get across that they will not be able to get 2017 prices when the banks are lending much less in 2018/2019. The thing is, a vendor can ask any price they like, the reality is that people can only offer the money they have.


Step 5 Don’t stress

Take your time with buying your dream home and once you have made a purchase don’t stress about living in your home. Use the doom and gloom to your advantage but don’t buy into it. Just enjoy your property, focus on making it yours and paying down your mortgage as quickly as you can.

How To Buying A Home In A Falling Market | Hero Broker

How Do I Compare Home Loans

How Do I Compare Home Loans | Hero Broker

How To Compare Home Loans

The two things you need to know to compare home loans

I know what your thinking…how do I compare home loans? Well, it’s really easy! When it comes to finding the right home loan, many people can be overwhelmed, there is, after all, thousands of home loans to choose from. The good thing is for the majority of people it’s really straightforward and not complicated.

Like most things in life, if you know what you want! It’s much easier to get, the same goes for home loans. There are only two questions you need to answer.

1) What type of loan do you want?
Is it a Fixed Loan, Varible Or A Split?

2) What features do you want?
Do you want an Offset Account, Redraw Facilty, No Fee Home Loan?

Once you narrow down what you’re looking for then it’s really easy to compare apples for apples. It’s my belief, that the name of the game is to find a lender that’s going to lend you the money you need, with the features you want, at the lowest rate! It no more complicated than that and finding the cheapest loan is what will help you own your home sooner. That’s what I think matters the most.

Comparing Home Loans On Our Site

Best thing is you’ve come to the right place. We made our comparison page is designed to be an educational tool as well as a place to find that needle I the haystack. You can see in real time how different types of loans and features change the interest rate and then easily compare and find that right one for you. Like always you can reach out to the team at Hero and we can walk you through the whole process.

How Do Canberra Games Hit First Home Buyers?

How Do Canberra Games Hit First Home Buyers? | Hero Broker
Pictured: one house in Australia no first home buyer wants to look at this weekend.


This weekend Aussies are dealing with something new. A new beer on tap at their local, a type batch of beans at their favourite cafe, and oh yeah – a new prime minister. After a vote Friday that ended Malcolm Turnbull’s time in the top job, Scott Morrison got the nod for the big gig.

So for the 5th time in the 8 years since 2010, Australia has a new PM. Geez that’s a lot. To put it in perspective, in the 18 years between 1992 and 2010? Australia had just 3 changes of PM!

Anytime you take on a topic like this a lot of Aussies have two concerns in mind:

A) They feel like nobody says what happens in Canberra will actually impact their daily lives

B) They’re not too keen to get another round of poli gossip instead of actual answers.


Instead of batting these two critiques away, I agree with them.


There’s too much coverage about who insulted who, who lost their luggage travelling overseas or bringing up something ancient like who got caught doing a nudie run back in their uni days.


It may play well with the tabloids or on social media – #nudiegate anyone? – but it doesn’t actually answer the essentials questions most Aussie first home buyers really want to know:

1. How does this Canberra leadership drama impact the Aussie economy?

2.What will this new prime minister mean for me as a first home buyer?


These are important questions for you if you’re looking to become a first home buyer soon, and ones I’m going to knock over an answer. So, let’s get into it.


How Does This Canberra Leadership Drama Impact the Aussie Economy?


It’s not breaking news to say our economy is at its best when everyone is firing on all pistons. Like a premiership winning AFL or NRL team, when everyone knows the playbook, knows what their teammates are going to do, and has a clear sight on the goal, strong results will follow.


Whatever party is in power in Canberra, when they’re on the same page they play a strong game. Even if you don’t agree with some of the stuff being done by the government, it’s better for all Aussies that everyone in Canberra fields a strong team, rather than a bunch of squabblers.


When there is in-fighting going on in the nation’s capital, it’s a lot like being unable to get a proper signal on your TV. Aussie businesses, entrepreneurs, community groups, and others are unable to get a clear idea of what’s happening on the playing field. This creates a ton of uncertainty that shrinks confidence, stalls growth, and can just makes things miserable all over.


In the past week its been the Liberal Party to blame for this chapter. The particulars of it are best detailed elsewhere but basically there’s a bloke from Sydney called Malcolm who was PM, another bloke from Sydney called Tony who was PM a while back, and a guy from Queensland called Peter who would like to be PM, and they all decided to have a throw down to sort it out.


As a result, we got someone called Scott as our PM. Make sense to you? Many Aussies are understandably still trying to wrap their heads around it. What’s done is done, and ‘ScoMo’ as he’s called is the new PM. But there’s also the risk this is going to go anyway as these guys Tony and Peter might want to circle back and go again.


Malcolm has decided to retire and get away from all this mess. And what a mess it has been, not just for the Liberals but for all in Canberra. Nobody from Labor was involved in this leadership issue this time around, but they have form here too.  Last time they were in power they had a back and forth going on between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.


They’ve since changed their leadership rules which means the sort’ve stuff we’ve seen is less likely to happen again, but still it’s been a really poor decade in Canberra. Some people are calling for the Liberals to now match Labor on these new leadership rules, so we don’t keep seeing something that looks like a revolving door in the PM’s office. Whatever the case, the fallout of this instability can be huge,



What Will This New Prime Minister Mean for Me as a First Home Buyer?

Leadership changes can have a big impact upon everyday Aussies, far beyond politician’s offices in Canberra. Anytime a new leader comes in there is the potential for them to change up a lot of old policies that the last leader had. This requires rebranding some documents in Microsoft Word and firing the printer up once more, but can also bring huge damage to market confidence.


An Aussie business all set to expand operations and open up a new office may wait because they’re unsure what the new PM will mean for them. An overseas business considering setting up shop in Australia may think twice because they don’t think they can be certain about what Canberra will get up to.


It can even hit Australia at a structural level – as while credit downgrades won’t be linked directly to leadership changes – a change in direction, or instability to just field a team and perform strong over the long term could see the Aussie government whacked with a credit downgrade.


All of that can make things like securing a job, building a business, or doing a ton of other things in Aus far harder. But despite this, there’s a bit of a potential silver lining in the past week’s events for first home buyers.


For many looking to get a foot into the market these recent events could be good news. Scott Morrison may be largely unknown to many Aussies, but he also is set to continue ‘business as usual’.
This won’t mean aftershocks are not still on the cards given the week that was, but at least he’s not coming into office with some new shocker like a plan to try and pair up Australia with New Zealand like an episode of the Bachelor.


If you’re an aspiring first home buyer, odds are good you’ve been looking for a while. If not for buying ASAP, you’ve likely been waiting a while for the right time to catch a market dip. Like the one we’ve been seeing recently in Sydney, Melbourne, and beyond.


This short-term instability – and the fact nobody is 100% sure it’s often and the new PM is going to be there too long – could see local and foreign investors stay back for a while as they feel a bit nervous about buying in the short term. Especially with all the other turbulence being seen across Aus property right now.


So first home buyers may find their path ahead a little easier in the short term. This is good for you, and if you do land your first home soon I’m really happy for you! But I’ve also gotta tell you

beyond the short term, the impact of all this leadership stuff further along could be unpleasant.

What Does This Mean for First Home Buyers?


If these past couple of years do turn out to be an exceptional period in Aussie history – but one that ultimately stabilises – then the antics we’ve seen in Canberra won’t worry much a first home buyer who plans to hold their home at least 5 years or more. In the long term, if this does become a regular feature of the political landscape in Australia, then it’s likely the housing market will just factor it in.


After all, it may be interesting times in Washington with the Trump era, but LA and New York property is still pricey, ditto the same with Tokyo prices though Japan’s gov has had some upheaval lately.


The real risk for a first home buyer would be in the mid-term. If all our PMs get rolled every couple of years that’s going to be an issue. Especially because it may further diminish confidence and productivity in the economy as government and business leaders are too scared to do anything bold to advance Australia because they are scared of a pushback in Canberra.


As I’m often in the habit of noting: this latest episode from Canberra is not going to mean a beachfront property in Bondi goes for the cost of a coffee, or you can land a huge loft in St Kilda for the price of a Happy Meal.  But it does mean anyone buying their first home with a plan to sell it on and upsize in a few years should really think carefully.


Nobody is saying you can’t follow this plan through, but if price growth is looking a little shaky now, and so too the political climate in Canberra, it may be best to look again and see if you can land a property with some more size you can bunker for a few more years.


Even if that means a longer commute or doing away with some expenses elsewhere to bump up your borrowing capacity. Nobody is saying doing this is really easy, but seeing 5 more years of Aussie property growth ahead like the last 5 we’ve seen is looking increasingly hard.


I not only want to ensure Aussies have all the info to become first home buyers, but also the best odds to grow the wealth they have in their home, to maximise their options in future.


Buying a First Home as a Bachelor or Bachelorette: What You Should Know

Buying a First Home as a Bachelor or Bachelorette: What You Should Know | Hero Broker


Buying a first home as a couple can be a tough task in many parts of Australia. It can be even harder when single. But many young Aussies who are right now flying solo have no wish to wait until they meet Mr or Mrs Right before buying. There can be many reasons for this.


Some Aussies want to get their foot on the property ladder ASAP. Others feel buying now would make the most sense for their personal financial goals. And some may have gotten a promotion that skyrocketed their income, or a windfall that they want to use right away. Whatever the case, there’s a lot to be said for buying a first home when single, but there’s challenges too.


So let’s look now at the pros and cons of being a first home buyer while single.


Pro: It Can Be a Great Move Financially


As a general rule, the sooner you can buy your first home the better. There’s no need to sprint to auctions like Usain Bolt doing 100m, but there’s many factors that make ‘sooner rather than later’ the best course of action.


After all, at the end of the first year of the Bachelor Australia’s premiere in 2013 the median house price in Sydney was $722,718. At the end of 2017, after its forth season ended with Sophie choosing Stu, anyone choosing to buy a home in Sydney needed to confront a media home price of $1,179,519.


Across many markets home prices in Australia have been rising for many years. Recent months have seen well-documented price drips across Melboune, Sydney, and Brisbane, , but anyone waiting to pick up a flat in Bondi for $1000 will be waiting a loonnnnng time.


While house prices keep going up, unfortunately wage growth has generally not kept up. This means the gap between average earnings and the price of a home is only set to grow further.


Buying your own home is a great way to put the brakes on this, and buy a property now you have a deposit for now, and could meet the repayments on comfortably (something that could becom harder and harder into the future if prices do keep rising). It also means once you’re a home owner you can surf the wave of rising home prices, so maybe one day you can resell your first home at a profit, and then use that profit to buy into a property you like even more. If you don’t buy a place now there’s no chance to do this.


Con: Your Borrowing Capacity May Be Less


Generally speaking, your borrowing capacity will be lower when you borrow by yourself. If you’re on a really high income, this may not be an issue, as you’ll likely  still be able to borrow enough to easily get over the line, and into your first home.


But if you’re looking to something around or over $500,000, and you earn an average salary, you may find your borrowing capacity by yourself is below that.


There’s actually a fair bit of debate around now about what exactly the average Australian wage is these days – news earlier in the year the average Aussies wage was around $84,000 was a bit of a showstopper! and it’s since been shown that figure is pretty damn flaky.


But either way, if you’re sub $80,000, and earning a respectable $50,000, $60,000, or $70,000, you may struggle to borrow over $500,000.By no means does knock out a ton of great homes still being available at a lower price point.


But if you’re maybe planning to ‘put the wagon before the horse’ and buy a family home in anticipation of meeting someone in years ahead? It may be necessary to step back and reassess your options.


Especially because alongside a smaller borrowing capacity, there’s the deposit factor. Ideally to get a loan lenders like to see 20% of the total home value saved. For a $500,000 property that’s $100,000! You can get a loan with a smaller percentage, but then other things like lender’s mortgage insurance may kick in.


And as a result of the revelations from the Royal Comission into Financial Services, the era of free wheeling lending is indeed over, and it’s possible it may tighten further.


Pro: Aiming for Your Goal Can Be Easier


Buying a first home when your single can get you access to a range of benefits. Across Australia first home buyers commonly get a reduction in costs like stamp duty and transfer fees via their state or territory government.


If your the Bachelor’s current star Nick Cummings and already cashed up from your pro rugby days, you may not be eligible for these discounts if you’re buying a home closer to $1 million (or more). But if are around the $500,000 or sub-$500,000 mark, there’s usually a number of special incentives offered by your state or territory government.


You can miss out on these when buying with a partner. Obviously two people buying a home – especially with a view to having kids down the line – will often seek to maximise the square footage they can get, and this usually comes with a greater cost, seeing you go over the discounts threshold.


This dynamic also applies to saving for a home. While if you save alongside a partner you should be able to build a big deposit faster, it can also be a big adjustment to get two people’s budget synced up and in ‘deposit saving mode’.


When your saving as a single  it can be easier. As if you’ve prepared to nix the gym membership or kiss goodbye to the annual holiday, it’s an easy do. If you’re saving alongside a partner, you may fix they are not at all willing to give up the treadmill or that annual trip to Vanuatu.


Con: Property Ownership Always Requires Long-Term Planning


When you buy a home with someone it’s a pretty clear indication of a deep commitment. Even if they’re not yet married or don’t have kids together, couples who buy a home send a pretty clear signal to the world (and each other!) that their building a future with one another. It also means they prioritise security with each over individual flexibility, as that’s what being a couple is about.


Single people buy a home without needing to be decided about who they may want to partner with, or the potential of having kids. While this in theory means there’s more flexibility, in practice buying a first home when single can make life trickier. Sure, you can move somewhere else and rent out your existing home, but this can bring financial complications and more costs.


Then there’s also the time factor. For someone who falls in love with another city, or with someone who lives further afield – or both! – then owning a property in Perth while your heart’s in Brisbane can complicate things. You can get a property manager to handle your home while you live elsewhere, but as a property owner you’ll still need to deal with paperwork pretty regularly.


Nobody is saying you can’t buy a home and manage it as a single person. It’s just also important to really recognise buying a property anytime is a significant undertaking. Even if you do decide in a year’s time it’s not for you and you want to sell up, you’re still going to be looking at a lot of big new expenses like marketing, conveyancing, and auctioneer’s fees.


Pro: Can Make It Easier When the Time Comes


Once things get serious with a partner it can often require moving home. You may have had some great times in your uni share house with your mates but you know your partner and you will struggle to have a romantic dinner with Davo and Macca play Fortnite, or while Suze and Beck binge watch Black Mirror.


If you do have your own home and meet someone special, as things progress it can be way easier to transition to living together, instead of having to look for a new place together.


Sure, you may have to clear out a cupboard of all your old hobby gear to make room for their clothes – seriously you can always buy another pair of roller blades if you get that 90’s feeling again – but otherwise it can be pretty quick and easy to make a move from single to couple when you have your own home.

And also – while this isn’t fun to raise – if you ultimately have your partner move in but then find after a few months it’s going to be a Sam Frost and Sasha situation and not work out? Then you can go your seperate ways but still own your property without needing go through the difficulty of moving home alongside dealing with a breakup. This scenario can obviously be really complicated and is never great to encounter, but it is actually another reason why it’s wise to buy now.


Sure you can wait until you meet Mr or Mrs Right before you hit the next milestone of buying a home, but then sometimes it may not be the right (even if you stay together and are 100% happy as a couple) for both of you to buy a home right now.


So if you are keen to buy a home now you shouldn’t feel you need to wait until the stars align elsewhere in your life with a relationship. You can buy a home now, and when the time comes you can ensure their stars align with you!


Con: Extra Financial Pressure


As well as less short-term flexibility, there’s also the financial pressure of being a homeowner by yourself. Even if you’ve budgeted and purchased carefully so mortgage stress is at a minimum, it can still be pretty confronting to look at the balance sheet on your home loan and recognise it’s ultimately up to you alone (right now) to pay it back.


Many people will find that challenge inspiring instead of daunting. After all, these the confident young go-getters who happily brought a home by themselves! But it can add some extra worry if you find yourself playing the ‘what if’ game and think ‘what if I lost my job?’ or ‘what if I got really sick and couldn’t work for a while?’.


Even if you are partnered with someone, a really big life event like losing your job can still add some big stress to the mix. But when you own your home with someone else, it can be a little easier know there’s some backup right there to help you press on.


Going, Going, Gone!


Overall, buying a home when you are single can be a fantastic move. It can give you a foothold in the property market, held you advance your financial goals faster, and also give you a greater confidence if seeking to meet someone special, that yes you’ve got your act together, and you’re ready to share your life with someone.


It’s just also important to keep in mind there can be a couple of extra challenges when it comes to buying a home solo. Especially because most of the home loan coverage we see in the day by day of media is geared towards a couple buying a home.


So it’s good to allow for a little extra time if keen to buy a home just so you can sort some of the extra considerations, and ensure your first home plan ticks all the boxes. Once that is done though? It should be clear sailing ahead.


All you need to do next is arrange a loan via Hero Broker!

How Can I Change My Home Loan?


How Can I Change My Home Loan? | Hero Broker


Changing your home loan is something many Australians are interested in doing, but feel nervous about. After all, home loans are a big commitment. Ideally the one you get for your first home is one you keep for the life of the loan. But sometimes things happen, for better or worse.

You may get a promotion and your income grows, or after the early years of a new bundle of joy, you or your partner return to full time work and see the household income soar.

On the other hand, sometimes you may find the market has changed and there’s a really tempting home loan on offer elsewhere, and you start to think it’s really time you renegotiate a deal.

Because home loans are big and complex processes it can feel a bit like quicksand, easy to get into but hard to get out of. So that’s why we’ve a guide for you here on how to vary your loan.


Get Professional Advice on Any New Loan


Home loan contracts are big documents. They are sure to be among the most important you ever sign in your life. If its a simple adjustment to your loan then you may not need to seek out advice beyond your own.

After all, with the average mortgage in Australia being around $400,000 there’s a lot of cash at stake when it comes to sorting a new home loan! So, it’s always a good move for your long-term future to pay a cheeky hundred or two for a professional review that could save you thousands in the long run.

There’s no suggestion your current lender won’t do the right thing for you by default, but it’s also a reality that Royal Commission into Financial Services has shown there’s has been some very naughty boys and girls working within the Aus finance sector lately. It’s wise then that any adjustment to a loan that comes with new terms and conditions is checked out by a third party.


Know What You Need


The best way to vary your loan is to have a clear-cut idea of what you need at the start. That way you can go into any new negotiations with your lender confident, and also ready to bat away any alternative offers or attempts to make you stay on the existing home loan.


At the same time, it’s really good to check out what some competitors to your current lender offer. If they are doing a better deal these days, you can take that to your current lender and ask them to lift your game.


If your present lender is still giving you the best deal available in the market – then while you certainly can still ask for a change to your loan – at least you’ll know if they’re unable to alter much then they are still delivering the best deal out there overall.


Ultimately, you’ve signed a contract with a lender for a home loan. So they have some leverage and an expectation you will honour it. At the same time, you also have the ability to exit the loan, and of course take your business elsewhere.


So if you want a change to your present loan and they won’t budge an inch? You can let them know you’re actively considering offers elsewhere. It is important to keep in mind as you go along that a discharge of an existing home loan will come with some fees.  At the same time, these fees are not very big. It varies from lender to lender, but among the big four banks the most common amount is $350.


So if you find negotiations end up at the point where they say ‘OK, you can leave but you’ll have to pay exit fees’, keep in mind that big scary exit fee amount is the price of a new Xbox or 6 months worth of a gym membership. Exit fees are never fun, but they are not going to bankrupt you, even if some lenders think it’s a good scare tactic to run.


Need to Notify


Keep in mind as you go through this process that just as you’ve a right to seek out a new deal if circumstances change for the better, it’s also necessary to notify your lender if something has gone wrong. If you lose your job, or you and your partner break up, or anything else like that.


Even if this is not permanent – your partner may say they’re breaking up with you because you forgot their birthday but will forgive you before their next birthday – you still need to notify the bank. Failure to do so can get you in a world of trouble.


It’s important also to recall there is usually some flexibility in place from the lender. If financial hardship occurs they can come to an arrangement with you in the short term so you can focus on sorting out other areas of your life (like finding a new job) without worrying about coming up with the regular repayments.


One of the positive by products of the Royal Commission is the recognition by a whole ton of lenders they need to lift their game. That means treating customers with more respect and understanding.


By no means does this make up for the mistakes prior – and it’s also no guarantee they won’t be up to cheeky business again if not kept in line – but for now it means lenders know they’ve peeved off many people, and so are more open than before to going the extra mile for a customer.


So if a reason like this has you looking to vary your loan, you can actually take another path and simply ask your lender what provisions they have in place if someone encounters financial hardship. You may be able to come to a new arrangement without needing to permanently adjust your loan  You loan can then return to ‘business as usual’ once you’re back on your feet.


Walk If They Won’t Talk


If you ultimately find you’re unable to arrange a new deal with your existing home loan provider, it’s best to put your current loan on ‘autopilot’ and just keep paying it. But as you do that, begin to actively seek out a new loan. That way you can sort a new loan with another lender, then circle back and tell your current lender you are going to switch, and that’s that.


Here’s where my team and I are always ready to help you.


Your Heroic New Journey

If you have used Hero Broker before, it simply a matter of getting back in touch with your lending manager that you used the first time.

I know it might have been some time and many emails ago since you last spoke with them.

If that’s the case you can just give us a call direct and once we’ve your verified your details we can reconnect you.


And what about if didn’t use Hero Broker for your first loan but want to now?

Well you’re in for a treat! Our platform is a custom made-to-order powerhouse created to ensure every Aussie who is applying for a new home loan gets the best deal on offer each and every time.

To learn more about how we can help you with your new loan, contact us on 02 9133 4008 or email us here.



What to Do Between Offer and Settlement on Your First Home

What to Do Between Offer and Settlement on Your First Home | Hero Broker

Buying your first home is not like grabbing lunch. The period of time between offer and settlement involves a number of steps, each of them requiring specific actions. That’s why the process of buying a property in Australia can actually be pretty complex.


If you already have a home loan sorted, you have a good idea of what’s involved before you offerBut what about when you’ve found a home you love? What do you do when you’ve decided a property you want in your budget is ‘the one’? Let’s look now at the most common steps in the process.


Do Another Inspection


Walking through any home on a sunny Saturday morning after a hard week at work and two coffees put away will make you feel positive about the four walls and the roof around you. If you return for an inspection of a property on a grey Monday evening with peak hour traffic jamming up the street, you’ll have a different impression.


Ultimately,  you’ll look at a home different when you’re simply browsing versus actively considering it. That’s why it’s always a good idea to go through the home (at least) a second time. If you love it, you’ll come away from a follow up visit assured it really was love at first site. A second trip may also help you spot something new, or realise you don’t like something about it.


Keep in mind a second inspection can give you real power. If you notice something is wrong with the home – such as repairs that should be done, or even some landscaping that should be sorted – you can factor that into your offer, and put forward a lower price.




Once you have decided the home is the one you like it is time to hire a conveyancer. A conveyancer is a lot like your coach who will give you the playbook needed to drive the ball up the field.


They will be able to inspect the contract of sale for you (which you can obtain from the realtor once you indicate you want to make an offer), as well as check out any other issues that could impact your purchase of the property. Unpaid council rates, illegal capital works (like renovations), and any easements that could have impact on any future work you do on the land.

Once conveyancing is sorted, all being well,  you can proceed on to making an offer.


Make an Offer in Writing


Some realtors may accept verbal offers. While verbal offers can be a way to get a deal done, in practice the exchange of signed contracts is the strongest and most secure way to buy a home.
If you have discovered a home you love and want to seal the deal, a written contract is best.


Making your offer typically involves you filling out the contract of sale. This will be provided by the realtor on request. Once you have filled out your part of the contract, the realtor will present it the vendor as an offer. If the vendor likes your offer they will sign the contract, and a deal is formed.


Also put a closing date on your offer. You’re not bound to do so but it’s in your interest to. If you are trying to buy a home and leave an offer open without any end date, the vendor can go ahead and put it in their pocket for weeks (or even months) until they decide. Just knowing your offer is a backup in event another one doesn’t come along that is better.


That’s not fair to you, so put a condition on it, like ‘this offer is good for 7 days from [date]’.  7 days is reasonable. 14 if its a rural property (or a really prestigious, or glitzy one) where it may be hard to reach the owners.


Not only does this give you peace of mind that you’ll not be waiting forever, but it also adds a bit of urgency to the vendor’s consideration. They know if they don’t say yes soon they will lose you.

Consider Your Offer Conditions


What to Do Between Offer and Settlement on Your First Home | Hero Broker

If you loved the way the kitchen let the air and sunlight in – but then noticed on your second visit it’s because of a hole in the ROOF? – you can make roof repairs a condition of your offer.


Once you are ready to put forward your offer, it’s time to lay out not only the price you are prepared to pay but any special conditions you want to attach. As outlined above, having the offer open for a set period of time is a common condition.


Also the date of settlement, you can stipulate your offer is conditional on settlement occuring in 20, 30, 60, 90 – or more! – days. The exact date is up to you, but usually a settlement between 30 to 60 days is most common in many Australian markets.


‘Subject to finance’ is another common condition, meaning if your offer is accepted you will pay once your home loan has been approved and financed by the bank. An offer being made contingent upon a successful outcome on a formal building inspection (one a professional does to check for any major structural issues or other worries like pest infestation) is another.


You can also put specific conditions on an offer, such as if the the vendor accepts they agree to make certain repairs or improvements (like tiling the roof) between the time of the offer acceptance and settlement.


Keep in Contact with The Realtor


Once you have made your offer, be sure to stick to your realtor like bubble gum to concrete! OK OK, you don’t need to call them every single day – let’s not peeve off someone who is helping sort your new home – but be sure to check in regularly once you’ve made your offer.


Real estate agents deal with a whole ton of properties, and sometimes that means it might take a while to get back to you. Some patience here is essential, but it’s also important to keep in mind yours is unlikely to be the only offer on the property. Staying in regular communication with the realtor ensures whether your offer is accepted or rejected, you’re ready to respond to it.


Circle Back to Your Conveyancer (Or Solicitor)


Once you’ve received word your offer is accepted it is then time to get in touch with the professionals once again to formalise the process. Whether this is the same conveyancer you used before, or a solicitor who can also assist with the purchase of a home. Either way, be sure you get a professional to put the finishing touches on the deal to minimise any risk that can always come with buying something as big as a property.


Arrange Insurance


If the home is hit by lighting and catches fire a day before settlement its the current owners problem. If the lighting strikes a day after settlement, its your problem. That’s why if you do intend to take out insurance (and it is a wise idea to do so) be sure its arranged before settlement occurs.


Do a Final Check After Settlement


Once the date of settlement has occurred it’s important to do a quick inspection before you pull up the delivery van and start unloading the couch. All being well, your new home should be in the same condition as it was when you first inspected it (or improved if you make an offer conditional to certain repairs being done).  


But if you do notice anything broken, damaged, or otherwise unacceptable,  follow it up. If the home you purchased has been damaged since your offer was accepted, it is the responsibility of the previous owners to fix it. This can be particularly common with homes that were owner-occupied, or had tenants in them.  


If it’s just a matter of replacing a couple of lightbulbs you may not be fussed, you do have a right to see a contract is enforced.  So, you can also place a quick call asking them to repair it.Given you’ve likely just paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone, they usually won’t be fussed about calling a tradie to fix something for under 1 thousands dollars. Make that call if you need to!


Have a Party


Buying a home is a long process with a lot of work involved. Once settlement is finished and you officially own your new home there’s just one thing left to do:  have a party to celebrate!

What Do You When Your Home Loan Comes up Short?

What Do You When Your Home Loan Comes up Short? | Hero Broker 

So you have got a home loan, but it’s not enough. You’ve used Hero Broker, gotten a home loan, but maybe just need a little more finance to really meet your goals.


You might have gotten news of your conditional approval, and then felt a little disappointed. You were maybe getting all set to raid the fridge for ice cream, and then planning to just sit on the couch drowning your sorrows in vanilla choc chip. I understand the home loan journey can be a tough one, as even in the best of times, it can have some ups and downs.


That’s why I want to detail for you now the options you have if your home loan is just a little short. To show you that all hope is not lost – and while I’m never gonna denounce a bowl of vanilla choc chip! – you can eat that ice cream with optimism, not sadness! Let’s get into it.


Get Another Job with Payslips


If you right now have a shortfall between your ideal first home price and the amount a lender will borrow, showing your lender more income on your payslips is the easiest way to make up the difference. How to get more income on your payslips? With another job! I know, I know, this isn’t an easy feat. I’ve discussed before the difficult job market we see in Australia right now.

But it’s invariably the quickest way to get more money borrowed. Once a lender sees you have extra income coming in from a consistent source, they can look anew at your borrowing power. If you only need to borrow a little more, a couple of shifts a week somewhere, or another part-time gig could get the job done.

Just keep in mind before you sign up to a side hustle that it is the income and not the job itself that matters. If you can make $250 extra a week working one shift, there’s no need to do 3 shifts.
Also be sure that you do get payslips, otherwise if its a freelance job (read: irregular income) you need to look to..


Boost Business Income Before Tax Time


Many very successful people have a job without a regular salary. This is no problem by itself, and the lender will lend to people in this circumstance. But it does make it harder to boost your home loan borrowing power as it will be based chiefly off your income seen on a tax return. If you want to increase your borrowing power, you have to produce a new tax return.


This can be a little frustrating if a financial year has just ended like it has last month, but it also allows you time to plan. There’s a number of ways a business can grow revenue over 12 months. Whether it’s seeking new clients, increasing rates, or extending trading hours.


Cut Expenses


Home loans are principally granted on income. So it’s not like your gym membership is going to be the difference between getting a $100,000 loan and a $1 million one. This said, if you’ve got a number of ongoing expenses that you really don’t use, then cutting them could help.


Things like gym memberships may seem small, but when taken together these subscriptions can eat a big chunk out of your monthly budget.  Nobody is asking you to cut Netflix and deny yourself the next season of Orange is the New Black, but any unnecessary expenses cut now could see a lender grant you a couple of thousand more.


If it’s ultimately just a couple of thousand between you and your dream home, there’s another option…


Consider Using Savings


If you have a small shortfall it’s worth keeping in mind you can buy a home with a mortgage, and using your savings on top. It is prudent to keep this conservative. Paying an extra $10,000 or $20,000 to get you into your dream home is something a lot of Aussies will be ready to do.  But few Australians buying their first home will have a lazy $100,000 lying around. Even if a couple can come up with something like that together in total savings, it’s still likely to hurt big.

Especially because your lender will have assessed your borrowing power after considering your savings. It is expected buying your home will diminish some of those savings a little, but it’s important to avoid blowing a really big hole in your bank account.  If you are buying a $610,000 home and have a loan for $600,000, then putting in $10,000 from your savings could be a good move to get your home buy over the line.

Ditto if your buying one for $700,000 and need $20,000 to get it done and dusted. But if you find the gap between your loan and the purchase price goes beyond the total cost of stamp duty – for example you have a loan for $600,000, a desired home for $650,000, and the requirement to pay $50,000 out of pocket if you want to buy it – then it’s usually best to back off. Sure, buying a home is usually a tough financial goal, but you should never buy one that will make building your wealth up elsewhere impossible. Paying out of savings for a home you can’t really afford right now is a bad move for this reason.


Earnings and Expenses Long-Term


Keep in mind once settlement has done the chief goal of the lender is to ensure you keep going with the loan. If there is a big material change – e.g. you change your main job or you and your partner sadly split up – your lender should be informed.

But if you get promoted 3 months after settlement in your new job, and then have enough money to meet the loan repayments, there’s no reason you can’t quit your second. The same applies if you have your own business. You can work Saturday’s for a year, prove a higher income, and then dial down once you have your home.

Provided you meet repayments that’s the main thing. Meantime, reach out to my team and I at Hero Broker anytime you’ve a question or need some further information.


5 Essential Steps to Buying a First Aussie Home

5 Essential Steps to Buying a First Aussie Home | Hero Broker

Being a first home buyer in Australia often means a long journey. From your first dream of home buying to the final day of settlement, there’s a lot that goes on from A to Z. Last time I wrote here was about the lifestyle and long-term plans you need to consider when looking to buy your first home. Now it’s a good time to look at the nuts and bolts of it.

At the start you likely have a general idea of the process involved in the first home journey. Then you get a deposit saved, and you’re ready to go through the formal process to get your first home.

So let’s look at how you go from your first dream to getting the keys with a home loan.


1. Plan Your Calendar for It


At some point every young Aussie considers buying their own home. For most of us, the Australian Dream still has a big appeal. It’s a tougher dream to achieve today than it was years ago, and this has been a big change. What hasn’t changed is buying a home anywhere and anytime requires some timing. From first dream to walking into your new home, it will take 2 months at a minimum. Likely a couple more. Especially if you are buying in a quieter time of year (such as winter) when there are less listings.

You should also allow more time if you are not set in stone about what sort of home you’ll buy and where. Turning your dream into reality will take some time, research, and exploration of buying areas. Realistically, 6 months is a good timeframe to set aside for finding a good property that meets you needs. Like Rachel Hunter used to say in the old cheesy Pantene ads, ‘it won’t happen overnight but  it will happen‘.

2. Find out How Much You Can Borrow


Where you buy your first home will depend on personal desire, but also be impacted by your income. A good deposit alone won’t pay off a home. More income allows for more borrowing.
To get an idea of what you can borrow with a mortgage you need to try a borrowing calculator.


We have a really good one here. After an estimate you may be disappointed, or you may be uplifted. Either way, when it comes time to make an official application there’s a few variables that can raise or decrease the actual amount you can borrow. The best way to find out how much you could get exactly is by making an official application!


3. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan


Once you know how much you can borrow it’s time to apply for pre-approval. Pre-approval of a loan allows you to buy a home even if you don’t yet know its exact cost. A lender will give you pre-approval for a loan up to certain amount, for example $750,000. You can buy a home at any price below that figure.


4. Make an Offer on a Place You Like


When you have found a home you like that is in your budget it’s time to make an offer. Keep in mind the offer process can differ from one part of Australia to another, and among different real estate agents. Some may allow you to make a simple offer via email, while others have a more formal process.


What sort of offer you make will depend on you, but keep in mind you’ve the power to tailor it:

‘This offer must be accepted by [date] to be valid’

‘This offer is conditional on an imminent building report revealing no structural issues’

‘This offer is made subject to finance

..are all common conditions.


Once you have made the offer it’s a matter of playing the waiting game.


5. Sign the Contract to Your New Home


When you receive word you offer has been accepted you are almost finished, but some red tape remains. You need to notify your lender your offer has been accepted and provide them the address of the home. A lender may send out a valuer to confirm the price of the property.


All being well, it’s time to sign the contract, and pay the deposit. Your lender will pay the full amount for the property when the settlement date arrives, and your home loan repayments will begin. Meantime, you can pop the champagne and look forward to owning your first home!


Bonus: Speed It Up by Working on Multiple Steps at Once


These are 5 steps every first home buyer must complete before getting the keys to a new home. But you don’t need to do them one by one. You can begin discussing an offer on a new home right now! While auctions require you to be ready to buy on the day, private sales are different.


Some sellers are keen to sell their home pronto and get a fast settlement. Others are in less of a rush, and happy to let a property sit for a while on the market. It’s important you don’t commit to making an offer until your finances are in order, but general enquiries are OK. You can ask what’s the demand is like for the property, and if they could wait for you to prepare an offer.


Some vendors won’t be interested, but others will wait if they know an offer is incoming. This example is just one way of many you can be proactive as you go through the 5 steps.


There’s nothing to stop you right now from browsing homes to get a sense of prices and demand. You can also visit open houses for inspection to see what the process is like up close. Doing this now can also help ease your nerves when the time comes to bid at auction or buy.


No Matter What: Keep On Keepin’ On


By any measure buying a first home will be one of the biggest steps in your life. It is exciting, but can also be daunting. Remember you have resolved to travel down this road, and it’s important to keep in mind that millions of other Aussies have gone through this process before too, and made a success of it.


It does require some real focus. Also some patience as things along the way can throw up hurdles. But most of all it requires positivity and persistence. Be optimistic, stay the course, and before too long you’ll be signing the contract on your new home!