Help me buy my first home

Where to start on your home buying journey

9 Nov 2021

| Home Loan

Buying your first home can be both exciting and overwhelming. After all, it’s your first step onto the property ladder and quite possibly your first major investment.

It’s also an expensive and time-consuming process. So even though this is your first house, you should try to ensure that you’ll be happy in it for as long as possible. We have created this guide to help you do exactly that.


Work out what you want and where

One of the earliest and most important things to do is to take the time to consider your wants and needs – not just today, but how you anticipate them changing in the foreseeable future.

A critical aspect to this is identifying the ideal location for your first home, in terms of proximity to your work, family and social networks, lifestyle activities and environmental appeal.

Do your research with real estate agents and online sites to work out if you can afford to buy a house in the areas you want to live. If not, you might want to consider buying an investment property in a cheaper area and renting where you work and play. That way you’ll still be building equity in your own property, but without sacrificing the things you care about.

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Understand the costs of buying

There are many costs involved in buying a home, so it’s important to factor them all into your budget when working out how much you need to borrow.

One of the biggest costs for first home buyers is often Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance (LMI). LMI is insurance paid for by the homebuyer, which protects the lender against the risk of the buyer not paying back their loan. It’s usually required if you borrow more than 80% of the value of the property, so the bigger the deposit you can save, the less you’ll need to pay on LMI.


Establish a realistic budget

Owning your first home is a wonderful feeling, but that glow can wear off quickly if your mortgage repayments force you to sacrifice the good things in life. So take the time to work out exactly how much you can afford to repay – now and in the future.

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This is general advice only and doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Conditions, fees and lending criteria apply and are available on request.

Credit Union SA Ltd ABN 36 087 651 232, AFSL/Australian Credit Licence Number 241066 arranges this insurance as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL No 234708. We do not provide any advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available from creditunionsa.com.au/terms-and-conditions. If you purchase this insurance, we will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Ask us for more details before we provide you with services.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
View all Loans FAQs

Currently the South Australian Government’s First Home Owners Grant is only available for people who are buying or building a new residential property.

Credit Union SA’s $5,000 First Home Buyer’s Grant is available when you borrow at least $250,000 to purchase or build a first home with a loan to value ratio (LVR) over 80%.


Lending criteria, fees and conditions apply. Offer is current as at 23/04/2018 and is subject to change. Minimum loan $250,000 to purchase or build a first home with a loan to value ratio over 80%. All loans that are eligible for the First Home Buyers Grant will be subject to pay Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance. To be eligible, applicants must not have previously owned residential property in Australia. Available to natural persons only (i.e. not a trustee or a company).

There are two ways you can choose to receive your First Home Buyers Grant from Credit Union SA:

  1. Have it paid into an account of your choice after settlement. Please note the grant cannot be accessed prior to settle for new complete or established homes. If you are constructing, the grant will be paid on confirmation that the foundation has been poured.
  2. Choose to have it applied directly towards the settlement of your property purchase, or when constructing, the grant is paid when the foundation is poured.

Credit Union SA’s $5,000 First Home Buyer’s Grant is available when you borrow at least $250,000 to purchase or build a first home with a loan to value ratio (LVR) over 80%.


Lending criteria, fees and conditions apply. Offer is current as at 23/04/2018 and is subject to change. Minimum loan $250,000 to purchase or build a first home with a loan to value ratio over 80%. All loans that are eligible for the First Home Buyers Grant will be subject to pay Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance. To be eligible, applicants must not have previously owned residential property in Australia. Available to natural persons only (i.e. not a trustee or a company).

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