Saving for your first home can be a hard slog, so it’s important to remember that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Patience will go a long way to achieving your property goals.
From understanding your borrowing power to setting money aside for a home deposit, and budgeting – every dollar you save will help you into your new home sooner.
MARQ Licensed Agent Natalie Kokic Schmidt purchased her first property at 21, sacrificing a big holiday in her youth to save for her own home.
“My Dad always would say he didn’t know how kids would afford to buy a house so it gave me the mindset that it would be a hard thing to accomplish,” Natalie said.
“Saving for your first home takes discipline, persistence, and patience. But the rewards are immense.”
Developing good savings habits from a young age will stand you in good stead when it comes to saving for what is likely to be the biggest investment of your life – a home.
Starting with a smaller goal like a holiday or a car will help you get into the saving groove.
“Teaching yourself to save is an important life skill,” Natalie said.
“Try to save from an early age. Even from your first job, put a little bit of money aside into an account that you don’t have a keycard for or you can’t touch so there’s no temptation to spend it.
“It’s easy to fritter away money on fun things, especially when you’re young and don’t have as much forward thinking for the future.”
Whether it be cutting back on how many coffees you buy each day, purchasing household supplies in bulk or revising your budget for entertainment and eating out, curbing your spending will help your savings bottom line.
If you’re determined to reach your savings goals, reassess your budget and where you’re spending your money so you can channel more into your home fund.
Seek out expertise
Working with an expert to set parameters around your borrowing potential and savings capacity will help you achieve your goal.
“It is a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker or a lender straight away – as soon as you start thinking of buying property,” Natalie said.
“Talk to them about what it is you actually need to save so that they can give you definitive figures. That will really help you with the decisions you make the sort of job you want to do, or if you need to work overtime to make some more money.
“If your income is not high enough, lenders will not lend as much, so speaking to a broker will help give you an overall goal.”
She also recommended reading The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape for tips about the basics of saving and ideas of small things you can do to curb spending.
High interest earners
Work smarter, not harder with your savings. Moving your money into a high interest earning bank account will help you to increase your funds without even thinking about it.
It’s a good idea to shop around for deals with high interest rates and low fees.
Set up a weekly or monthly direct debit into the account and only make a withdrawal in an emergency. Many banks and lenders offer added interest incentives if there are no withdrawals in any given month.
Slow and steady
Being patient and consistent is key to achieving your home deposit goal.
“Just put away a set amount that you can afford,” Natalie said.
“The more you put away and the more regularly you do will mean your savings will grow more quickly. That’s difficult in the current climate where the cost of living is having an impact, but even putting aside $50 a week is something. It all adds up.
“You will make it easier for yourself when it comes to buying your first home if you have some savings.”