How much time should you allow to buy a home?

The property market has been in growth-mode for some time now, making it difficult for the average Aussie to imagine themselves buying a home any time soon.

The good news is, with a little willpower and a lot of patience, owning a home is a realistic prospect. In this article, we’ll share a few requirements, tips, and tricks to help kick-start your home ownership journey. Let’s get started.

How much money do I need to save?

Of course, the answer to this question will depend on the property type you’d like to purchase, how much money you already have saved, the area you’d like to buy in, and any additional funds (inheritances etc.) you will have access to.

A good place to start is to calculate the loan to value ratio (LVR). Here’s a bit more information about the LVR.

What is a loan to value ratio?

Lenders will use something called a loan to value ratio to determine the level of risk involved with your home loan application.

The LVR is calculated by dividing the amount of your home loan by the price of the property. Typically, the higher the LVR, the higher the perceived risk.

As a general rule, aim for an LVR below 80 per cent.

How much time will it take to save for a deposit?

Again, the answer to this question will vary greatly depending on your circumstances. There are, however, a few averages you can use as a guide.

Assuming that you earn a median income and save 20 per cent of your pre-tax earnings, and you aim to purchase a property with a national average value, it will take you 4.6 years to save.

In Sydney, buyers take an average of 8.2 years to save the $215,000 ideal deposit. In Canberra, the average is 4.9 years.

Fast-tracking the savings process

Can’t wait five years to become a homeowner? Here are a few ideas to help you fast-track the savings process:

  • Make sure your money is working for you by holding your funds in a high-interest savings account.
  • Look in an outer-city suburb if the inner-city areas are too far outside of your budget.
  • Consider house and land packages, which are often cheaper than buying in an established neighbourhood.
  • Tidy up your credit score to increase the likelihood of a successful loan application.
  • Save consistently year-round. You could even set up automated deposits.
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