Sometimes the best things in life aren’t free. However, they can be affordable. We know it’s not easy to save up the deposit for your first home; but that new home feeling? It will be so worth it! Here are some smart and easy ways to get that home deposit together sooner.

First thing’s first: check if you qualify for the First Home Owner’s Grant. Among other requirements, you will need to live in the home yourself and it will need to cost $750,000 or less. If this matches your situation, that’s an instant $10,000 towards your new house! Thornhill Park currently has 360 unique house and land packages that meet this requirement. Check out this handy filtering tool to see if there’s a place to call your own.

Gone are the days when you need to scrimp and save a massive 20% deposit to own a home. Now, you may only need a 5% deposit to secure a loan! So, for example, a new home at Thornhill Park starts at $305,000. If eligible, you’d only need a deposit of $15,250 – that feels pretty achievable, doesn’t it? Plus, the new First Home Loan Deposit Scheme might mean you don’t even need to pay for mortgage insurance. There are almost 300 packages at Thornhill Park that meet the $600,000 maximum property value threshold for the FHLDS. Be sure to chat to your lender (actually, chat with as many as you can) and independent financial planner to see if jumping into the property market with a smaller deposit suits your lifestyle.

A simple change in philosophy might help you unlock your very own front door for the first time, much sooner. If you’re struggling to save, consider being more flexible or open-minded with your goals. Moving to the western suburbs of Melbourne tends to be cheaper than buying and living in their eastern, northern or southern suburban counterparts. Thornhill Park’s median house price, for example, is currently around $532,000 according to realestate.com.au. In comparison, the median price for Hurstbridge (north east) is $707,500, for Lysterfield (south east) it’s $957,800 and for Wonga Park (east) it’s $1,215,000. All are the same distance out from the CBD, only in different directions.

This difference is due to a few reasons. A major one is the availability of more space in which to establish newer neighbourhoods closer in to the city from the west. As the west rapidly evolves, things like establishing vast designer green zones and wetlands, young and creative communities moving in because they recognise value – and in turn increasing a suburb’s “cool” factor – and massive infrastructure investments by both government and savvy developers. But, thankfully, prices haven’t caught up just yet.

Looking for a house or land that’s slightly smaller or a few minutes further out from the city can also pay off as there’s less mortgage stress and getting into the market sooner with a smaller deposit is generally a better investment than waiting too long. Keep in mind, the house and land packages available in new estates tend to be cheaper than existing homes. Remember, your first home doesn’t have to be perfect forever, just perfect for now. Plus you can always extend, renovate or upgrade later.

When it comes to saving a deposit, every little bit really does count. Test out some handy savings and budgeting apps like Pocketbook, MoneyBrilliant, GoodBudget or Quit That. Don’t listen to well-meaning friends (unless they happen to be professional finance experts). Try out a few savings strategies until you find one or a combination that works for you.

Don’t forget to include stamp duty into your planning too. However, there are ways to avoid this hefty fee – mainly by building off-the-plan or buying a brand new home. There are a range of cost reductions in Victoria that could apply to you if your place costs under $750,000 or if you or your buying partner is a pensioner as well as exemptions on paying the duty at all if your property is under $600,000. The State Revenue Office has all the details you’ll need.

Touch base with us anytime to find out more and to see if there’s a block of land with your name on it.

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