Going from Renter to Owner

Before accruing all of the finances they need to make that leap into home ownership, the vast majority of Australian first home buyers would have spent time renting. While renting throughout your whole life makes sense for some of us, for others the final conclusion of being a tenant comes when we buy our own home. So how can you join the party, and transition from home renter to homeowner?

Transitioning from Renter to Owner

There’s a general progression that people on the real estate journey, one that most of us follow at some point in our lives. On the day we move out on our own, we are following generations of people before us, and while not everybody’s path is identical, there are nonetheless well-trodden sections to move through.

Despite the increasingly tough property market conditions, the great Australian dream of buying a first home is alive and well, with the proportion of housing finance commitments coming from first home buyers sitting at over 15% according the the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Before accruing all of the finances they need to make that leap into home ownership, the vast majority of Australian first home buyers would have spent time renting. So how can you join the party, and transition from home renter to homeowner?

How Much Will it Cost?

It’s easy to read the frequent news reports about skyrocketing house prices and historic low housing affordability and be intimidated. However, should you know where to look, and how to temper your own expectations, finding affordable housing for purchase is not as difficult as you might think.

In fact, as reported in the Courier Mail in some 111 suburbs in the city of Brisbane, rent is actually higher than the ABS’ figures on weekly housing costs for people with a mortgage. The median $453 weekly spend for mortgagees equates to approximately 18 per cent of income spent on housing costs, while renters were finding themselves spending 20 per cent.

As you can see, perhaps breaking out of the cycle of renting is not as out-of-reach as you might think.

We buy houses in Fort Worth Tx

How Can you Get There?

One of the greatest hurdles to buying a home can be saving the required deposit. A recent home loans activity report found that for most couples, saving the approximate $100,000 for a home deposit will take on average 4.2 years nationwide. In some of the larger cities where property values are higher, however, that median stretches to as much as 7.9 years.

Having to grind out savings for up to eight years is, for many people, simply an unreasonable ask. There’s a silver lining though – you shouldn’t have to do it on your own. Each state and territory in Australia offers its own first home buyer incentives, including grants (up to $15,000 in Queensland) that can help you on your way to building your deposit. No-one is saying it’s easy, but thousands of Australians every year make the jump, and you can too.

The April Home Checklist

Getting Cold Weather Ready

With April around the corner – we will find the morning air is becoming crisper, leaves are falling and the local farmers markets are full of potatoes, plums and pears. Your thoughts maybe turning to curling up on the sofa with a movie and popcorn, but before you get too settled, here are some home to-do’s for this month to help you prepare for the colder months ahead.

Don’t wait until the first cold snap to make these adjustments – in this April home checklist, let’s look at specific ways to boost the comforts of home before winter arrives.

Make it A-Glaze-ing

Windows can be a problem area when it comes to securing a warm temperature in your home. Heat can escape through windows in droves, which doesn’t just make homes uncomfortably cold – it impacts your electricity bill as you ramp up the heater to 11 to compensate for this.

One of the most efficient ways of combating this is by making sure the glazing on your windows is appropriate. Sustainability Victoria notes that double glazed windows can reduce heat loss in a home by up to 30 per cent compared to single glazed aluminium windows, and even better results can be achieved with triple glazing.

Double glazed windows can be something you install from scratch, removing old glass, or you can add it to an existing window. The latter is generally cheaper, and can even be done with magnetic trips. It can also reduce noise in your home! Checking with a local window supplier is a great place to start keeping your castle nice and warm.

Pick the Right Type of Heating System

There are many different ways to heat the home – open fire, heat pump, even just putting an extra duvet on the bed. But it’s important to know which works best for each part of the house. The Australian government’s YourHome website notes that the main kinds of heating are radiant and convective.

While radiant heat tends to warm up people and particular objects by broadcasting the heat in a direct fashion, convective heating travels all around a room, warming the very air itself. YourHome recommends convective heating systems for smaller rooms, and radiant systems when you have a large room or a particularly draught-filled area.

If you have a large, high-ceiling room befitting of Winterfell or The Red Keep, however, then you might want a combination of the two types of heating. Remember there are other options like under-floor heating, but this might be a bit of stretch to establish on short notice. See what fits in your budget and works with the makeup of your home.

Insulate the Ceiling

While air leaks are only responsible for 5 to 15 per cent of heat loss and floor and walls 10 to 20 per cent, up to 35 per cent of a room’s heat can be lost through the ceiling.

So, this April it might be worth taking the time to specifically look at the insulation you have in your roof. Is it safe, snug and warm? If not, you might want to consider the appropriate insulation techniques.

Alternatively, you could try outside-the-box methods of circulating the heat around. This includes a reversible ceiling fan, which can keep heat moving around a room instead of just dissipating into thin air. As always, contact specialists if you’re looking to install something new.

Pack Away the Summer Clothes

Unless you are lucky and have huge storage in your bedrooms, now is the time to go through the cupboards and remove your summer clothes and put into storage.

There are many options for you here – if you have storage in another room moving the clothes in there is a good idea, or if space is tight, consider vacuum packing the clothes and storing them under a bed. There are also loads of great looking storage boxes you could buy cheaply and fill them with summer clothes and place on the top of your cupboards. While going through your clothes make sure you remove any items of clothing you haven’t worn over the last season and either sell them if they are good enough quality, donate them to your local charity or chuck them out.

This is also the time to go through the kids clothes and take out the ones they can’t fit into anymore. Either hand them down to another sibling or perhaps a friend. Clearing out the kids wardrobes and seeing exactly what they need for winter will ensure you only buy clothes that are required not what you think they need. In many parts of Australia there are great mid-season sales on so now you know what the kids need this is the time to find some bargains.

Check Safety Devices & Plans

With heaters and fires starting to be used, checking your smoke alarms is a must. Make sure they are in working order and replace batteries as needed. Check the expiry date on your kitchen fire extinguisher a make sure you have the fire blanket handy.

It’s also a good time to revisit your family’s fire escape plan. Get the kids involved and practice this with them. Show them what they need to do, how to get away from smoke, how they find an exit and talk about signs to look out for.