A First Home Buyer’s Guide To Purchasing Property In Toowoomba
Looking for your first home in Toowoomba?
You’re not alone, with research showing that one-fifth of Queensland’s first home buyer transactions this year have taken place here. Here are our top tips for getting your first foot on the property ladder in Garden City.
1. Research and apply for government grants, schemes and concessions
Ready to buy your first home? Start by researching the first home buyer schemes and grants on offer from the government. Over the past two years, almost 100 buyers have purchased their first home in Toowoomba with the help of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme or the New Home Guarantee.
There are several schemes available from the federal government:
- First Home Loan Deposit Scheme – helps eligible first home buyers to purchase a home with as little as a 5% deposit instead of the usual 20%.
- New Home Guarantee – assists eligible first home buyers with building or buying a brand-new home up to the value of $500,000 in the Toowoomba area.
- Family Home Guarantee – supports eligible single parents with one or more dependent children to buy a family home with as little as a 2% deposit. This scheme is open to first home buyers and those who have owned a home in the past.
The Queensland state government offers:
- Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant – a grant of $15,000 available to eligible first home buyers purchasing or building a brand new house, unit or townhouse up to the value of $750,000.
- First home transfer duty concession – a reduction in transfer duty worth up to $15,925 for first home buyers acquiring a home worth $550,000 or less. If you’re buying a home for more than $550,000, the home concession may still apply.
- First home vacant land transfer duty concession – first home buyers purchasing vacant land up to the value of $400,000 can apply for a reduction in transfer duty of up to $7,175.
2. Organise your finance
Once you’ve sorted out your grants, it’s time to think about your home loan. Organising your home loan pre-approval (also known as conditional approval or approval in principle) while you’re still house hunting means you can move fast as soon as you find the right property. And moving fast can sometimes be the difference between walking away with the keys and missing out.
Getting your home loan pre-approval will also give you a good grasp of how much you have to spend, and you’ll be able to bid at an auction or make an offer on a home with more confidence. Remember, conditional approval is not a guarantee of a loan, and you’ll still need to apply for formal approval when the time comes.
It’s also worth remembering that there’s more to buying a home than just the purchase price. You’ll need to cover the cost of transfer duty, solicitor or conveyancer fees, loan establishment fees, building, termite and swimming pool inspection costs, land tax, lenders mortgage insurance (if you need it) and moving expenses.
3. Assemble your experts
To successfully navigate the process of buying your first home, you’ll need the assistance of some key experts. Save yourself time by having them lined up and ready to go even before you’ve found the home you want to buy.
- Solicitor or conveyancer – to handle the legal side of buying a property, including checking the contract of sale for anything unusual.
- Building, termite and swimming pool inspectors – you should always have building and termite inspections carried out before finalising a property purchase and a swimming pool inspection if the house has a pool. Inspections must be carried out by licensed contractors. Licences can be checked on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission website.
4. Find your dream home
You’ve got your finances sorted out, you’ve applied for your grants, and you’ve organised your solicitor and your inspectors – now it’s time to find your new home. These tips will help you get on top of the house hunt.
- Work out what you’re looking for – what is important to you in a home? Is it size, location, or something else, like a pool or a backyard? You may end up having to compromise on some of your wishes, but if you can distil the most important things, it will help narrow down your search.
- Do your research – find out what comparable homes are selling for in the areas you’re interested in. That way, you can pick out a bargain as well as avoid paying too much.
- Make contact with local real estate agents – this is the best way to be the first to find out about new properties for sale. Let them know what you’re looking for and ask to be added to their database.
- Consider using a buyer’s agent if you’re buying from afar, or simply want a head start on the competition.
Are you looking to buy your first home in Toowoomba?
Whether you’re after a one-bedroom apartment or a home for a family, let us help you find it. Get in touch and tell us what you’re looking for today.