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First home buyer guide: tips for purchasing your first home

Updated: May 17

Welcome to our First Home Buyer Guide, tailored specifically for those embarking on the exciting journey of purchasing their first home. This guide is designed to provide easy-to-understand information to help navigate the complexities of being a first-time buyer. From understanding government homebuyer programs to setting realistic savings goals, we're here to empower you with the knowledge you need to get into your own home faster. Let's dive in! 


If you're feeling overwhelmed by the home-buying process or unsure where to begin, rest assured, you're not alone. Today's economic conditions are challenging. Even high-income earners can struggle to save for a home deposit while paying high rent and dealing with other cost-of-living pressures. This is why quality advice is so important. Buying your first home can feel intimidating, but that doesn't mean it's not achievable.

Belinda Slater with a happy First home buyer client |My Finance Agent

Belinda (left) presents Jacinta (right) with a gift to congratulate her on her first home purchase. 

First home buyer guide: grants and schemes 

The state and federal governments recognise that buying your first home is not an easy step. For that reason, there are numerous government programs designed to help first-time home buyers get into the property market. For example: 


The Federal First Home Guarantee Scheme

It offers a federal government guarantee on a portion of your home loan. It allows eligible buyers to purchase a home with just a 5% deposit, without the added cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).  


Australian Capital Territory (ACT)  

In the ACT, the government may help eligible first-home buyers by removing or reducing duty on residential property or land purchases. Up to 100% discount on stamp duty may be available.  


 New South Wales (NSW)  

For eligible applicants, the NSW Government offers a range of first-time buyer programs:  


  • First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) provides $10,000 to help buy a newly built or substantially renovated dwelling  

  • First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme may provide up to a 100% exemption of transfer duty   

  • Shared Equity Home Buyer Helper program contributes up to 40% of the purchase price for a brand-new home or 30% for an existing dwelling and reduces the deposit required 


Northern Territory (NT)  

The NT First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) provides $10,000 to help buy new home that has never been previously lived in.  


Queensland (QLD)  

The QLD First Home Owner grant gives eligible first-time home buyers $15,000 towards buying or building a new home. You might also be able to claim a concession for transfer duty.  


South Australia (SA)  

If you are a first home buyer you may be eligible for the first home owner grant of up to $15,000 (new home only). A first-home owner stamp duty concession may also be available.  


Tasmania (TAS) 

The Tasmanian government offers a range of first-time buyer concessions. Those building a new residence or purchasing a newly built residence may be eligible for a grant of up to $30,000 via the First Home Owner Grant, while first home buyers of an established home may be eligible for the First Home Owner duty concession of 50%.  


Victoria (VIC)  

The Victorian Government offers a range of first-home buyer assistance measures, including:  


  • Victorian Homebuyer Fund provides eligible borrowers with up to 25% of the purchase price, in exchange for an equivalent share in the property, plus no Lenders Mortgage Insurance.  

  • Stamp duty can be reduced or removed if you’re a first-home buyer and buying a house for $600,000 or less. If you buy off the plan, you may only pay stamp duty on the land value component.  

  • First Home Owner Grant provides $10,000 to eligible people buying or building their first new home.   


Western Australia (WA)  

First-home buyers may be eligible for both the First Home Owner Grant, a one-off payment funded by the WA Government, as well as a stamp duty concession. 

This information was current at the time of publication, but these programs often change. Please note that these grants and schemes have eligibility rules, which vary from state to state. Please speak with us for up-to-the-minute advice and check your eligibility.

First Home Buyer Guide | My Finance Agent

Ready to turn your homeownership dream into a reality? Here's how you can get started:

Financial discipline: watch your spending 
  • Streamline your finances by consolidating multiple debts into manageable repayments with lower interest rates. 

  • Analyse your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back. Redirecting funds previously allocated to unnecessary expenses, like unused gym memberships or impulse purchases, can accelerate your savings. 

  • Can you live with your parents while you save for a home deposit? Rental costs are usually the single biggest expense that slow down first-home buyers.


Market knowledge: stay informed 
  • Regularly monitor the housing market to understand trends and identify favourable buying opportunities. Utilise reputable platforms like or to stay updated on listings and pricing dynamics. 

  • Educate yourself on historical market data and follow expert insights to make informed decisions. 

  • Even if you aren't ready to buy, attend property inspections and auctions to observe and learn. 


Goal setting: establish savings targets 
  • Set clear savings goals that encompass the deposit as well as additional upfront purchase costs, such as stamp duty and legal fees. 

  • Use the My Finance Agent App to establish a comprehensive budget, monitor spending habits, and track progress toward your savings goals. The app seamlessly integrates with your existing banking accounts, providing a real-time dashboard of your overall finances across all your accounts, whether from one bank or multiple. We can work with you to monitor your savings goals and game plan. 

My Finance Agent App | Budgeting, savings goal tracking, portfolio management

Patience and diligence: maintain focus 

While it's tempting to rush into homeownership as soon as your savings target is met, there are benefits to be gained by exercising patience and diligence in finding the right property. Conduct thorough research and consider factors such as location, amenities, and future market prospects. If you find a property you're interested in, we can help your research by preparing a free property research report. 


Embarking on the journey to homeownership signifies a milestone in your financial journey. By adopting a proactive approach and being supported every step of the way by our trustworthy loan experts, you can turn your dream of home ownership into an affordable reality. For further insights on first-home buyer loans, explore our comprehensive guide here. 


Congratulations on taking the first steps toward homeownership – your future awaits and we are here to assist! 


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