Getting started

A little bit of groundwork at the outset can make a big difference in finding a home that’s right for you, as well as helping you manage your mortgage.

Check your credit record

When you apply for a home loan, lenders will take a look at your credit record – which shows how well you have handled credit in the past. It’s worthwhile checking your credit record before you apply for a home loan, so you have a chance to follow up and correct information on your credit history if you believe it to be inaccurate.

To access a copy of your credit history, go to

Determine how much you want to borrow

A key step in buying your first home is determining how much you can afford to borrow. One of the best ways to do this is draw up a budget that shows your total monthly income compared to your anticipated monthly expenses. Once  you have purchased a property you will be tackling an array of new outgoings including rates, insurance and maintenance costs – in addition to your regular mortgage repayments. It is important that you will be able to comfortably meet all these expenses.

It is also worth thinking about where your career is headed. For example, is a salary increase likely? And give some thought to your plans for the future. You may intend to spend some time travelling or start a family. These could have a significant impact on your budget, both now and in the future.

Give plenty of thought to the sort of features you are hoping for in your new home. Aspects like location, the number of bedrooms and the availability of parking are all important considerations. Buying a property is a major financial commitment and ideally your home should provide a comfortable lifestyle for years to come.

Obtain a pre-approval

It makes good financial sense to secure a pre-approval from a lender before you start the home hunting process. This will tell you just how much you can afford to spend on a property, as well as provide a piece of mind that you won’t miss out on your ideal home because of delays arranging finance