couple doing paperwork

Home loans: Are you in a strong position to buy?

A potential downturn in the property market might have you wondering whether you’re in a position to get on the property ladder sooner rather than later. If you’ve got spare time on your hands, now could be the perfect time to do your research and get your finances in order. Here are some things to consider:

Is your paperwork ready for a mortgage application?

Having all your paperwork together will take some stress off your shoulders when it comes to crunch time. A lender will want to see information about your financial situation to make sure you can comfortably cover your mortgage repayments. Here’s a useful checklist  of the paperwork you’ll need to have at hand for your application:

  • Passport, driver’s licence (or another form of photo ID)
  • Birth certificate, Medicare card, a credit card / ATM card
  • Citizenship certificate (if applicable)
  • At least 2 recent pay slips (no more than 1-month-old) and / or payment summary from your employer
  • 2-year ATO tax return assessments (if self-employed)
  • Details of any additional income (i.e. rental income or share dividends)
  • Any current Centrelink benefits
  • Existing home loan details and / or rental agreements and statements
  • 6-month bank account statements
  • Credit card statements and details of any other debt you have.

Do you have enough savings for a deposit?

When working out what you can afford to buy, remember to put aside enough savings for the upfront costs you’ll need to cover, such as legal fees, stamp duty and property reports. If you’ve saved enough to cover these costs and a 20% deposit, you should be able to avoid paying Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance and potentially save thousands of dollars.

Don’t forget to stress test your repayments

If circumstances change and your level of income reduces significantly, how long could you keep up your mortgage repayments? What happens if interest rates rise and you haven’t opted for a fixed rate mortgage? Can you afford your deposit and still have an emergency savings fund? Asking the tough questions now will either flag any potential issues or give you peace of mind that you could still cover your mortgage repayments if your finances took a turn for the worst.

Now could also be a good time to get your head around the technical terms and jargon. To save you hours of Google searching, here are some of the key terms explained for you.

Stay focused on your long-term goals

Who doesn’t love a bargain? We’ve all had the experience of buying something that isn’t quite right simply because the discount was so good. When it comes to buying property, it pays to keep in mind the fundamentals and not get carried away by the fear of missing out. Doing your research can help you create a list of your ‘non-negotiables’ – the two or three things a property must have in order to be a contender. Be clear on your budget and keep going back to your list to make sure you’re not being led astray by your emotions.

Home buying tips direct to your inbox

To help first home buyers get ready to purchase, we’ve developed our Home Knowns series – a series of emails to take your home buying skills to the next level. Learn the art of the open inspection, how to negotiate, plus many more tips to help you at every step. Sign up for our Home knowns series here.

This information has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. All loans are provided by Beyond Bank Australia Limited, 100 Waymouth Street, Adelaide, SA 5000 ABN 15 087 651 143 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 237856. © 2020.