First-time buyer in 2021? Here’s how to avoid rookie mistakes

How to sort the financial side and anticipate hidden costs

When it comes to borrowing, not only must you prove you can pay the monthly mortgage repayment, you must show you can pay it at a stress-tested level. Photograph: iStock

When it comes to borrowing, not only must you prove you can pay the monthly mortgage repayment, you must show you can pay it at a stress-tested level. Photograph: iStock

If you want to buy your first home this year, careful planning will be key to success. These guidelines will help get you across the threshold of the right house with the least heartache.

Show me the money

If you’re serious about buying in 2021, then you’ll already have savings. The fact that you couldn’t buy an avocado toast even if you wanted to for most of the past 12 months will have accelerated your efforts. Moving in with Mum and Dad will have provided a boost too. But before casting the net for a house, you need to know your budget. How much could or should you borrow, and how much in savings will you need?

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