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How we purchased our first home

Using the Australian Government’s First Home Guarantee

20 Apr 2023

| Home Loan

With house prices booming and the cost of living on the rise, making the jump from renting or living with family to buying your very first home may seem like a faraway dream.

But there might be an alternative way to get your foot in the door sooner using the Australian Government’s First Home Guarantee.

We spoke to Ruby (27) and Lachie (31) about how they were able to purchase their first property by taking advantage of the Guarantee.

Ruby and Lachie

Property price - $562,000
Deposit amount - $30,000
Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) - $0
Stamp duty and other fees - $45,000

Let's get in to the details...

How long had you been searching for a property?

We’d been looking for around 8 months before we fell in love with a modern three-bedroom townhouse that was just 10 minutes outside Adelaide’s CBD.

What steps did you take once you’d found your dream home?

Well, this is where it got a bit tricky. We loved the townhouse, but we weren’t sure if we had enough savings to cover the 10 -20% deposit (required by most lenders), stamp duty and other fees.

Our families weren’t able to help us with our deposit or act as guarantors. So, we had to immediately start looking at different options because we really wanted to get this house.

How did you hear about the Australian Government’s First Home Guarantee?

After calling a few lenders, we spoke to Credit Union SA, and they mentioned that we might be eligible for the First Home Guarantee (FHBG). 

They explained that if we met the criteria, we could buy the townhouse with a 5% deposit (plus purchase costs) without having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

We were so excited, but we had to wait and see whether we’d be accepted.

Was it an easy process to go through? How did it work?

It was an incredibly easy process because the FHBG eligibility criteria is very straight forward. We only had to fill out a form and organise a statutory declaration, Credit Union SA handled the rest.

Here’s some of the criteria we had to meet:
  • We both had to be Australian citizens, at least 18 years old, and first home buyers looking for a property to live in (not rent out).
  • We also had to be earning under $200,000 combined per annum and our property had to sit under their price cap for the area.

Credit Union SA also needed to see that we could save over time and had enough savings to cover a 5% deposit, stamp duty and other fees. Once Credit Union SA had done everything they needed to do, they called us back and told us our home loan would be covered by the FHBG.

One of their Lending Specialists, Michelle Aalbersberg, then guided us through our home loan application and paperwork.

A valuation of the property was completed, and ten days later we received unconditional approval for our home loan. This meant we could finally put in an offer. We were pleasantly surprised, shocked and really excited by how easy it was!

Was the amount you offered on the property more than what you originally wanted to pay?

We actually offered less than the asking price thanks to Michelle. She took us through the sales history of the area and helped us settle on a price that was fair but still competitive, she was amazing and really went above and beyond.

Originally, we were going to offer $575,000 but after we looked over the Core Logic report with Michelle, we went with $565,000. Ultimately, we ended up paying $562,000 because the building inspector found a few issues and we asked the sellers to drop the price based on those findings.

How long did it take from applying for the loan to putting in an offer and getting your keys?

We applied for our home loan on 20 June 2022, put an offer in on 10 August 2022 and received the keys to our new home on 11 October 2022.

We specifically chose to have a later settlement to align with the end of our rental lease.

What were the benefits of the FHBG?

The FHBG helped us buy our first home sooner with just a 5% deposit and we didn’t have to pay a Lenders Mortgage Insurance premium which saved us around $18,000 altogether.

What advice would you give to other First Home Buyers wanting to use the FHBG?

Just apply. You really have nothing to lose by checking your eligibility. There are no hoops to jump through to prove anything. It's just, yes, you meet the criteria, or no you don't. It saved us so much time and money!

What are your plans for this house, will you hold onto it and sell in a few years, or will this become your forever home?

We haven’t got any plans to sell. It has everything we need in a great location. We’re close to our friends, work, and our favourite city spots. We love it here.


Do you want to find out if you’re eligible for the First Home Guarantee?

Check out our First Home Guarantee information to see if you qualify for the Scheme.

We can help

If you have any questions about this process our lending experts can help talk through your options and the first home buying process.

Contact us

Mobile Lending Managers

Mobile Lending Managers

Why not make an appointment with one of our friendly Mobile Lending Managers, who can come to your home or office at a time that suits you

Or call us on (08) 8202 7777 between 8am – 8pm weekdays or 8am – 2pm Saturdays. We’re here to help!

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INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW

Terms and conditions, fees, charges, eligibility and lending criteria apply. Full details available on application.

This article is intended as general information only and has been prepared without taking into account the personal financial situation, objectives or needs of the reader. Before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.