Establish a budget
Before you start house-hunting in earnest, or looking at potential building designs, let alone applying for a loan, it’s important to calculate how much you want and need for all your living expenses and how much you will have left over for repayments.
You should also factor in more than just the ‘essentials.’ Include the little luxuries that you’d really miss if they weren’t there. Owning your own home does require some sacrifices, but it shouldn’t mean not enjoying your life. It’s all about balance.
Some of the things you might need to consider include:
- groceries and takeaway meals
- utilities such as gas, water and electricity
- phones, broadband, pay TV and online streaming services
- insurance – for buildings, contents, vehicles and yourself
- council rates and strata fees (if applicable)
- home maintenance costs, including appliances
- school fees, books and excursions
- sporting clubs, gym membership and equipment
- vehicle registration, petrol and parking
- clothing, cosmetics and toiletries
- gifts and other incidentals
- contingency funds in case something goes wrong.
And don’t forget that interest rates (and your repayments) may go up in future.
This is general advice only and doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.