Become a super saver with these golden tips

You may have the income required to pay a mortgage but many of us simply aren’t able to save the deposit needed to buy a house.

There are no deposit home loans but not many lenders offer them and the approval criteria can be tough.

How can you save a deposit and break out of the rental trap?


What size deposit will you need?

You should aim to save 5% of the purchase price as a deposit for your home. Depending on the state you’re buying in, you may need to save a little more to cover expenses such as stamp duty and conveyancing costs.

A 5% deposit is a great target as it meets most lender’s requirements for genuine savings and it’s the minimum deposit required to apply for a 95% home loan.

Try to save this money in a separate savings account that you won’t be accessing on a day to day basis. Studies have shown that if you see a high balance in your account when you withdraw money from an ATM, you feel wealthier and end up increasing your spending!

Do your parents own a property? If they guarantee your loan then you may be able to buy a home without saving a deposit at all!

Call 1300 889 743 or enquire online to discover if you qualify.


Savings calculator

Use this calculator to work out how much you’re currently putting away and how quickly you’ll be able to reach your deposit goal.

Saving just a little more every week or month can make a huge difference and help you buy a home sooner.


Get help from the government

Did you know that the government can help you to save a deposit if you’re a first home buyer? If you open a first home saver account, the government will contribute additional money on top of the money you save.

In addition to this, the interest on savings will attract a lower tax rate. However, you can only withdraw the funds to purchase a home. If you open a first home saver account then you’re committed to buying a home!

You may also be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant, A Builders Grant (if applicable in your state) or a stamp duty exemption (if available in your state). These benefits are made available when you buy a home, but if you’re aware of them now, you can work out the deposit you’ll need to save. To find out if you’re eligible for any of these benefits, simply call your state’s first home buyer hotline.


Cap your standard of living

Setting a budget and cutting down on unnecessary expenses is the best way to maximise your savings. For those of you who may find it hard to set a budget, it may be easier for you to maintain the same standard of living, but avoid taking lavish holidays or buying a new car. Keep living as you are now, but when your income increases you should then try and increase the amount you are saving each month. This will help you work towards saving that deposit.


Set a realistic goal

Write down your savings target (5% of the purchase price) and put it on the wall where you’ll see it everyday. Your savings target is not your focus, the amount you put aside each month is the goal you want to be achieving. By putting money aside every month, you’ll be well on your way to saving that deposit.

For example, if you want to buy a property for $500,000, you’ll need to save a $25,000 deposit. To do this over four years, you’d need to save roughly $500 a month. Saving $500 a month, every month, for the next four years is your goal. Write this regular savings goal next to your savings target.


Why most people can’t save

Most people don’t save because they spend every dollar they earn! Sometimes more! If you have this problem and you don’t want to budget then how can you save a deposit?

The answer is surprisingly simple! Open a separate savings account and then setup a direct debit payment or regular transfer from your cheque account so your savings are made automatically. Some savings accounts have a feature allowing you to do this or, alternatively, you can setup a recurring transfer through internet banking.

A variation on this method is to ask your employer to send some of your pay directly to your savings account. You never see the money in your day to day spending account and therefore you won’t miss it.

Why is this method so effective? This forces you to save and your living expenses will adjust over time to take this new “expense” into account.


Take action!

We don’t mean to scare you but if you don’t start saving then chances are you never will. The longer you wait to buy a home, the more house prices will rise and the larger a deposit you’ll need.

Go online to your bank’s website and open a savings account right now!


Prepare to apply for your mortgage

Did you know that if you don’t meet standard lending criteria, you may need to save more than a 5% deposit! To avoid this problem you should read our article on preparing to apply for a home loan. If you follow this advice then you’ll be well on your way to home ownership!


Disclaimer

This information is general advice only. Should you require specific financial advice, please speak to a qualified financial planner who can assess your situation.

Whilst we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, you should not rely on this information, as it may be out of date or contain errors.

  • Ry Lee

    Didn’t realise it soon enough but the first home saver account has been abolished so what will happen to the existing accounts?

  • Hi Ry Lee, the existing accounts will be treated like any other account now, and if you haven’t received a co-contribution yet, you have until 30 June 2017 to lodge your claim for the period up to 30 June 2014. You can find out more here:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/blog/home_loan_articles/first-home-saver-account/

  • stax

    I’ve saved up a deposit but not sure how much of it will actually be counted as genuine savings. Is there any easy way to find out about this?

  • Hello stax,

    You can simply use the genuine savings calculator to determine how your deposit will be viewed by the banks, and whether you meet their genuine savings requirements. However, do note that each lender and mortgage insurer have their own policies and definition of genuine savings so it must be used as a guide only. Here’s the link to it:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/genuine-savings/genuine-savings-calculator/

  • 1977che

    I couldn’t meet the deposit requirement by 3-4% so can I get a personal loan and use that to meet this?

  • Hey there,

    Yes, you can use a personal loan as part of your home loan deposit, however, you’ll need to meet the criteria for both a home loan and for a personal loan. Generally, you must have a high income to afford both repayments, little existing debt, a clear credit history and some savings to make up any shortfall. Note that many lenders won’t accept this due to genuine savings requirements though.

  • Dirk

    I’m a barrister in NSW and I’ve been saving up trying to amass 20% so I can avoid LMI. A colleague recently told me though that people in our profession can actually get a no LMI home loan. What are the qualifying criteria for this?

  • Hello Dirk,
    Firstly, you’re required to be earning $150,000 a year (or you will be earning around that amount soon). Rental income can be considered. Second, you must be a member of an approved industry association such as the Law Society of NSW. Please check out the home loan for lawyers page for the full list as well as additioinal info:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/unusual-employment-loans/home-loans-lawyers/

  • Mangum

    I’ve saved up a big deposit but I’m thinking whether or not I should borrow to my limit. Any comments?

  • Hello Mangum,

    In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to borrow to your limit as you may be unable to recover if there are any disastrous unforeseen financial or personal events. Having a healthy cashflow as well as some funds on standby will help you to ride out many of the small problems in life. It’s better to borrow a suitable amount while considering your future income and expenses. It’s usually okay to borrow closer to your limit if you’re at the beginning of your career, have a regularly increasing income and are not planning to have children right away.