Checklist: What’s your property type?

House or apartment? New build or fixer-upper? As a first home buyer, ask yourself these questions to help you work out what property type might be right for you.

Your future plans

❏ What are your future plans?

What property types and locations would suit your expected lifestyle over the next 5-10 years? For example, if you plan to start a family, you might want to consider things like property size, the number of bedrooms, and proximity to schools and amenities.

❏ Are you looking for a forever home, or one to get you on the property ladder?

Starting smaller could mean you’re eligible for stamp duty exemptions or other government concessions if the property’s under a certain amount (depending on your state).

Property types

❏ Do you want a new or established property?

This can be one of the factors that determines whether you’re eligible for some government concessions. Check your state’s government website for the latest info.

A new property means it’s newly built and never lived in. With an established home, consider its age and how soon any renovations would need to happen – and at what cost.

❏ Would you like a house or an apartment?

As a general rule of thumb, land tends to rise in value over time, while the value of the building tends to fall.

Apartments (and any other property types that have shared areas like driveways, gardens or lifts) come with strata fees, but they tend to be lower maintenance. They can be a good choice for taking a first step on the property ladder.

❏ Would you like a fixer-upper?

It could come with a cheaper price tag, but it’s important to consider if the cost of the house plus renovations would equal more than what you might sell it for in the future.

❏ Do you want to build a property?

You’ll have more control over what your home will look like and you might even be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), depending on your state. Weigh the pros up against the potential risks – like construction costs and delays.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to take out a construction loan, which lets you draw down the loan in stages to pay your builder as the work progresses.

❏ Do you want an off the plan new build?

These properties are not yet built, but all the plans are in place. They could appeal to you if want to see your home come to life from scratch but don’t want to design it yourself.

Potential cons are that you could be waiting longer for the build to be complete and you’ll generally need to pay a deposit upfront to the developer.

Location, location, location

❏ Where do you want to live?

Consider if you need to be close to what’s important to you - like family, schools, work, public transport, freeways, shops or other amenities.

❏ Would you consider ‘rentvesting’?

This means buying an investment property in an affordable area while you rent where you want to live but might not yet afford to buy. It’s becoming a common way for people to enter the property market.

❏ Get free property reports

Our Home Finance Managers can give you as many as you like, no strings attached. They’ll show you a suburb’s:

  • Growth rate
  • Previous sales
  • Rental values
  • Median price range for houses and units
  • Population mix and local amenities.

Finances

❏ Would you be eligible for stamp duty exemptions or government concessions?

Check your state’s government website for the latest info. These are often based on the value of the property (such as if it’s under a certain amount), or if it’s a new or established property.

❏ Think about costs that come with different property types

These can include:

  • Strata fees
  • Council rates
  • Maintenance costs
  • Utilities.

Get help from a Home Finance Manager

They can talk you through what’s possible.