Guide to buying your first homeĀ 

Buying your first home and getting your first home loan can be easy with access to the right tools and support.

Getting started


Your budget will have a big impact when it comes time to purchasing a property. The way you budget will have an affect on the amount you can save for a deposit, which will impact the amount you can borrow and how much interest you will pay. Ensure your budget is helping you to make regular savings deposits. A solid track record of employment and a history of regular savings in your bank account can make it easier for you to get a home loan.


Research the property market you are wanting to buy in to ensure you are across price points and value. This is the time to consider looking at a number of different suburbs or areas to see the difference in pricing. Once you start to look at how much your mortgage repayments will be you may be prepared to make a compromise on property price to help keep your repayments realistic. 

First home buyer Government schemes

The Australian Government has two current schemes to help first home buyers - the First Home Owner Grant and the First Home Super Saver scheme. 

Know the cost

There are a number of costs associated with purchasing a property. It's important to understand these costs and how they might impact your repayments and your overall budget.

Deposit Stamp Duty (Tax) - Calculate
Settlement fees
 Mortgage registration fee
Home loan application fee
Legal fees
Inspection costs
Moving costs Utility connection
Council rates Maintenance
Strata fees Learn more about these costs

What is Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance?

Lender's Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is an insurance premium that helps to protect lenders against losses which may be incurred if a borrower is unable to repay their loan. For loans with more than 80% loan to value ratio with Heritage Bank, you'll be required to pay for LMI. How much you pay depends on your loan to value ratio (LVR) and can be calculated by your lender when you apply for your home loan.

What is loan to value ratio (LVR)?

LVR is your loan amount represented as a percentage of the value of your property. If you want to borrow $450,000 to buy a property valued at $500,000, that’s an LVR of 90%. At Heritage, we will usually lend up to 95% of the value of the property however it's important for you to speak to your lender first to discuss your personal situation. 
Calculate your home loan repayments
Our home loan repayments calculator helps you estimate the true cost of your mortgage, including stamp duty, rates, insurance, maintenance, and more. 
Talk to a specialist

Talking to a specialist lender is a great way to find out what kind of position you are in prior to making an offer on a property. Specialist lenders can help you even before you start researching properties, which is a great way to get your financial history and budget in order. 

At Heritage, our specialist lenders love helping first home buyers and can take you through the process of purchasing a property step-by-step, from saving and budgeting for a deposit, to working out which kind of loan will suit your situation.

Mortgage Brokers are professionals who can help you find the right home loan amongst a range of different lenders based on your situation. Brokers generally charge the borrower nothing for the service, as they are paid a commission by the lender when the mortgage is settled.

Apply for a home loan

The home loan application process can be a confusing and stressful time, particularly if you are waiting on approval to make a home purchase unconditional.To help make your journey easier, we've put together an handy infographic that explains the Home Loan Application Process.

We also have a Home Loan Application Checklist that lists the documentation you will need to put an application together at Heritage Bank. As this is a guide only, it's important to talk to your lending specialist in case you may need to provide extra documentation.  

Home Loan Pre-approval Benefits

If your loan isn't approved

It can be disheartening to find out a loan for your first home is not approved. To keep the contract on the property you could consider having a family member guarantor for you. This means your family member can use the equity in their own home to provide additional security for part of your loan amount. Find out more about how family guarantee works at Heritage. If this is not possible, and you have no other funds available, unfortunately you may have to cancel the contract on the property. 

While this is an unfortunate circumstance, we can work with you to put a road map in place to help you secure a future property within your approval limits. This can include helping you set up the right accounts to save more money and put a budget in place. To do this, talk to one of our lending specialists. 

Useful tools

Couple happy with new home & fixed rate home loan
The home loan application process
Find out what's involved in the home loan application process with this simple, 4 step graphic.