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How to get on the property ladder

Financial Planning  |  12/09/2017  |   5 min read

High property prices are making it tough to pull together a first home deposit. But with interest rates still historically low, government assistance available, and investments properties offering a step up the property ladder you have options. 

If buying your first property is on the agenda, it’s time to think outside the box and explore new ways of buying your first home.

Know your borrowing power

“How much can I borrow?” is a common question among first homebuyers and knowing your borrowing capacity is a critical first step that allows you to establish a buying budget. 

On the plus side, the loan size you can afford is determined by your income and living costs – not the size of your deposit. For an accurate figure of your borrowing power, speak with your lender or mortgage broker.

Start small

This is important. Your first home doesn’t have to be your dream home. 

As a first homebuyer, it pays to be flexible, and compromise can be the secret sauce that lets you afford a home of your own. According to ME research, one in three first homebuyers say they’re happy to settle for a smaller property or a suburb that’s not their first choice. It’s all about getting a foothold in the market. You can upgrade later when you’ve built up home equity.

Buy with less than a 20% deposit

Here’s some good news. It’s not essential to have a 20% deposit to buy your first home. Plenty of lenders accept a far smaller deposit, and while this means paying lenders mortgage insurance, it’s a way to get into the market at today’s prices. 

Revisit the first home owners grant

More good news. Since 1 July 2017, the First Home Owner Grant and stamp duty discounts have been ramped up in a number of states/ territories. Head to an online stamp duty calculator to check how much of a financial helping hand you’re eligible for.


Making your first property a rental investment rather than a home to live in is a strategy with plenty of potential. The rental income can make the loan repayments more manageable, and buying as a rentvestor opens up affordable locations you may not have considered as an owner occupier. 

Speaking with your lender or mortgage broker can offer more ‘outside the box’ strategies for securing your first home. So keep your options open, and take a long term view of property ownership.


Originally published by Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.

This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Before making a decision to invest in the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund, you should read the relevant Equip Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Issued by Equipsuper Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049 AFSL 246383.  MySuper Authorisation Numbers 33813823017672 and 33813823017518  (‘Equip’, ‘the Fund’ and ‘the Equip Rio Tinto Fund’).

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