A Guide to Buying Your First Home in Australia: Tips, Grants, and More

February 7, 2023
Buying Your First Home

Key takeaways:

  • Some of the big factors to consider are location, home features, future prospects, and resale value.
  • Check out first home owner grants in your state to see if you qualify for the $10,000 grant.
  • Always assess your finances first to see if you can afford not only the property, but the insurance, utilities and other fees.

Buying your first home is a huge milestone in life, and it’s natural to feel both excited and a little overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process of buying your first home in Australia.

We understand the challenges and opportunities involved in finding the perfect home to call your own. The journey to buying your first home begins with having a plan – especially when it can take a long time to buy a house in Australia. So, consider what you are looking for in a home and what you can afford.

Before diving into the home-buying process, it’s important to consider factors like location, home features, future prospects, resale value and questions to ask when buying a house.

Looking to dive deeper? Discover the intricacies of a private treaty in the real estate world.

Recommended Reading: To make the most of this topic, we highly recommend our dedicated article on what is a vendor statement. It adds depth to the information you’re currently consuming.

What to consider when buying your first home?

When buying your first home, there are several key factors to consider. Dreaming of your own home but not sure where to start? One of the most significant hurdles is the initial payment. Dive deep into our guide on securing that all-important down payment for a house.


One of the most important factors to consider when buying your first home is location. Consider factors like proximity to work, schools, shopping, and transportation. You also want to make sure that the location you choose is one that you’ll be happy living in for the long-term.


Before buying your first home, you need to determine how much you can afford to spend. This includes not just the cost of the home itself, but also the cost of associated expenses like lenders mortgage insurance, property taxes, and utilities.

Consider your current income, expenses, and future financial goals before making a purchase.

Before making any decisions, it’s crucial to understand the intricacies of the home-buying process. Learn how to put in an offer for a house in our detailed guide.

Delve Into Costs: When it comes to property transactions, understanding expenses is crucial. Our comprehensive guide on Solicitors Fees for Buying a House sheds light on this critical aspect.

Home features and amenities

Buying Your First Home

Think about the features and amenities that are important to you and your family.

  • Do you need a backyard for the kids to play in?
  • Do you need a home office area?
  • Do you want a home with a spacious kitchen for cooking and entertaining guests?

Make a list of your must-haves and keep it in mind as you search for your first home.

Future prospects and resale value

Consider the future prospects of the area where you plan to buy a home. Will the area continue to grow and develop, or is it expected to decline? What about the property market? When will Australian house prices crash? (If they do at all.)

The resale value of your home will depend on a number of factors, including location, the state of the local housing market, and the condition of your home.

Consider hiring a buyer’s agent

Working with a real estate agent, buyer’s advocate, or using a residential real estate platform can make the process of buying your first home easier and more successful. An experienced real estate agent can help you find the right home, negotiate the best price, and guide you through the process of buying a home.

Go Deeper: To fully equip yourself for your property journey, don’t miss our comprehensive look at the hidden costs when buying a house.

Navigate with Confidence: Don’t miss out on the intricacies of home purchasing. Our dedicated piece on legal fees when buying a house will provide you with the knowledge you need.

First Home Owners Grant

Buying Your First Home

If you’re a first home buyer, you may qualify for first home owner schemes and grants.

First Home Owners Grant VIC

If you’re a first-time homebuyer in Victoria, you may be eligible for the Victoria First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) of $10,000. To be eligible for the FHOG, you must meet certain criteria, such as being an Australian citizen or permanent resident and purchasing a new home as your primary place of residence.

Before making that all-important decision, gain a well-rounded perspective by also checking out our essential guide on buying your first home in Victoria. It’s the perfect supplement to your current read!

First Home Buyers Grant NSW

If you’re a first-time homebuyer in New South Wales, you may be eligible for the NSW First Home Buyers Grant of $10,000. The grant is available to eligible first-time homebuyers who purchase a new or established home as their primary place of residence.

Saving for Your First Home

Can you buy a house with $10,000 deposit? While it’s possible to buy a house with a $10,000 deposit, it’s important to keep in mind that the larger your deposit, the smaller your mortgage and the lower your repayments will be.

It’s also worth noting that lenders typically require a minimum deposit of 20% of the purchase price, so a $10,000 deposit may not be enough to secure a loan.

Forge Ahead with Confidence: The home buying process can seem daunting, especially when going at it alone. Equip yourself with knowledge from our resource about buying a home as a single woman in Australia.

Tips for saving for a deposit

Buying Your First Home
  1. Set a savings goal: Decide on a target amount you want to save and set a timeline to reach that goal. This will help you focus your efforts and keep you on track.
  2. Create a budget: Figure out where your money is going and look for areas where you can cut back. This will free up more money to put towards your deposit.
  3. Make saving automatic: Set up automatic savings transfers from your salary into a high-interest savings account. This way, you won’t have to think about it, and the money will be there when you need it.
  4. Save any windfalls: If you receive a bonus, tax return, or other unexpected money, put it straight into your savings account.
  5. Reduce debt: Pay off any outstanding debts, such as credit cards or personal loans, as these can make it harder to save for a deposit.

Saving for a deposit can be challenging, but by following these tips, you can reach your goal and take the first step towards owning your dream home.

FAQs on buying your first home in Australia

Want a Comparative Insight? Both auction and private treaty have their pros and cons. To help make an informed decision, dive into our detailed discussion on Auction vs. Private Treaty and arm yourself with the best knowledge.

How much deposit do you need for a $400,000 house?

In Australia, the minimum deposit you’ll need for a $400,000 house is 5% of the purchase price, which is $20,000. This is the minimum deposit required by most lenders, but keep in mind that some lenders may require a higher deposit.

A higher deposit can help you secure a better home loan interest rate and reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan.

Can you use your super when buying your first home?

Yes, you can use your super to buy a house through the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS). This scheme allows you to save for your first home inside your superannuation fund, where you may be able to take advantage of lower taxes and potentially grow your savings faster.

However, it is important to note that you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria and follow specific rules set out by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Can I buy a house while separated in Australia?

Yes, you can buy a house while separated in Australia. However, it is important to consider the potential impact on your property settlement.

If you purchase a new property before your property settlement is finalized, your former partner may be entitled to a share of the property. This is because all assets acquired during the marriage are considered to be marital assets, regardless of who purchased them.

How much should you save when buying your first home?

The amount you should save for your first home will depend on a number of factors, including the location and type of property you want to buy, as well as your personal financial situation.

It’s a good idea to have a clear budget in mind, including all costs associated with buying and owning a home, such as stamp duty, legal fees, and ongoing costs such as insurance, repairs and maintenance.

Can You Get a Home Loan on Centrelink?

Buying Your First Home

If you’re receiving Centrelink payments, you may be wondering if you’re eligible for a home loan. The good news is that you can still get a home loan while receiving Centrelink benefits, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Firstly, most lenders will require you to demonstrate a stable income, which includes your Centrelink payments. This means that you’ll need to show that you’re able to make the repayments on your loan. The amount of your Centrelink payments will also be taken into consideration when determining how much you can borrow.

It’s also important to note that you may have to provide additional information to the lender, such as proof of your Centrelink payments. This is to ensure that the lender is aware of all of your income sources and can assess your ability to repay the loan.

Do You Have to Tell Centrelink if You Buy a House?

If you’re receiving Centrelink payments, you’re required to report any changes in your financial circumstances. This includes buying a house, as it may impact your eligibility for certain benefits.

It’s important to keep Centrelink informed of your situation so that they can update your record and determine if you’re still eligible for benefits. Failure to report a change in your financial circumstances may result in overpayment, which you’ll be required to repay.

What is the Maximum Loan from Centrelink?

The maximum loan amount you can receive from Centrelink will depend on a number of factors, including your income, expenses, and other financial obligations. Centrelink considers your ability to repay the loan and will only approve a loan that is affordable for you.

It’s important to note that the maximum loan amount from Centrelink may be lower than the amount you can receive from a traditional lender. This is why it’s important to consider all of your options and compare home loan offers from different lenders.

How to Buy a House with a Low Income in Australia?

If you’re on a low income, buying a house may seem like an impossible dream. However, there are options available that can help make home ownership a reality.

One option is to apply for a low deposit home loan, which allows you to buy a home with a smaller deposit. Another option is to use the First Home Owners Grant or other government incentives, which can help you save money on your home purchase.

It’s also important to consider the location and type of home you want to buy. For example, buying a smaller or older home in a less expensive area can help you save money on your purchase.

How much deposit do you need for a first time home buyer in Australia?

Buying Your First Home

The amount of deposit you’ll need as a first time home buyer will depend on a number of factors, including the price of the home you want to buy, the type of loan you’re getting, and the lender’s requirements.

Typically, you’ll need to save at least 5% of the purchase price of the home as a deposit. However, some lenders may require a larger deposit, especially if you’re borrowing a high amount or if you have a poor credit history.

It’s important to note that the more you can save for a deposit, the better. A larger deposit will not only reduce the amount you need to borrow, but it will also lower your monthly repayments and help you avoid paying mortgage insurance.

What is the Minimum Salary for a Mortgage?

One of the key factors that lenders consider when deciding whether to approve a mortgage application is the borrower’s income. In general, lenders prefer borrowers who have a stable and consistent income, as this increases the chances of them being able to repay the loan. So, what is the minimum salary required to get a mortgage in Australia?

The answer to this question is not straightforward, as it depends on several factors such as the lender, the size of the loan, and the borrower’s credit history and financial situation. However, it is generally recommended that borrowers have a minimum income of around $50,000 to $60,000 per annum to be eligible for a home loan.

Keep in mind that having a higher salary can help increase your borrowing power and improve your chances of being getting pre approval for the loan.

Get in touch with Soho Home Loans to speak to a knowledgable mortgage broker who can help plan your property purchase with you.

Affording a Home on a Budget

So, you’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: buying a home is expensive. But just because it’s expensive, doesn’t mean it’s impossible, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. There are a few ways you can make owning a home more affordable, even if you’re on a tight budget. Let’s take a closer look at how you can make it happen.

How to buy a $1 million home?

Buying a $1 million home might seem like a pipe dream, but it’s not impossible. You just need to be smart about your finances and understand the costs involved in buying a home. First and foremost, you’ll need a substantial deposit, which can vary anywhere from 5% to 20% of the purchase price.

You’ll also need to consider ongoing costs, such as mortgage repayments, council rates or strata fees, home and contents insurance, and maintenance. Make sure you understand all the costs involved in buying a home before you take the plunge.

Another option is to buy a home with someone else. If you have a partner, parent, or friend who is also looking to buy a home, you can pool your resources and increase your buying power. However, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the costs and responsibilities before entering into a joint ownership arrangement.

How to afford a house on a single income?

Buying Your First Home

If you’re on a single income, it might feel like owning a home is out of reach. But with the right planning and budgeting, you can make it happen.

One strategy is to save as much as you can for a deposit. The more you can save, the less you’ll need to borrow, which will lower your repayments. You can also consider buying a more affordable property, such as a townhouse or apartment, instead of a detached home.

It’s also a good idea to consider your expenses and see if there are any areas where you can cut back. Maybe you can save money by cooking at home more often or taking public transport instead of driving. Every little bit helps.

Finally, it’s worth talking to a financial advisor or mortgage broker who can help you find the right home loan for your situation. They can help you understand what you can afford and guide you through the process of buying a home.

So there you have it, buying a home on a single income is possible if you’re willing to make some sacrifices, budget carefully, and seek the help of a financial expert.

Additional reading: in case you are in a de facto relationship, you might want to check out our guide on De Facto Break Up Entitlements so you’re aware of your rights! Additionally, explore our run through property splitting after a long marriage.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.