The 10-step buying guide

1. Budget & save
Buying an apartment off the plan generally requires at least a 10% deposit. If you’re not quite there yet, reduce your market entry price point or create a savings plan to help you get there. You can also consider incentives such as the Lendlease First Place offer, which enable you to secure your apartment with only a 5% deposit.

2. Establish your capacity
Once your savings are in order, plan and map out what, where and why you’re buying in the first place. Depending on your goals, this will help you to determine the type of property best for you. You should get your pre-approval for a loan to secure finance and to save time down the track.

3. Choose your professional
If you’re unsure of your property plans, lenders and property consultants can help you determine your first home buyer goals by helping you decide on the best location and price for your property, as well as considering your changing needs.

4. Property search
Taking your budget into account, map out the specific features you’re looking for in a place. Consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms needed – do you need a car space, do you want communal amenities included, and do you need to be close to transport? What aspects can you negotiate on and what preferences are essential to you? Remember: for your first home, you may need to compromise to stay within budget.

5. Reserve your property (holding deposit)
You’ve found a place you love – congratulations! To secure it from other potential buyers, place a holding deposit to ensure no one else can buy this property during this time.

6. Finalise contract and pay deposit
Now it’s time to bring in some legal advice. Once your property has been reserved, you have approximately two weeks to pay your 10% deposit and finalise your contract. If you’ve purchased an apartment as part of Lendlease’s First Place incentive, you only need to pay a 5% deposit.

7. Receive construction updates
While you wait for your apartment to reach completion, stay informed on how construction is progressing and keep up to date on any new developments (most developers will provide regular customer updates). If you intend to move into your new place, ask about move-in guides. If you’re investing, now is a good time to search for a Property Manager.

8. Pre-settlement inspections
This is an exciting time in the buying process – viewing your new home for the first time. Note down any defects or issues that need fixing in your apartment to avoid repairs or maintenance work down the track. Take an agent or third party with you to help if you’re not sure what to look out for.

9. Property settlement
Once your loan has been approved and your bank or lender has liaised with your solicitor to arrange payment of the balance of the purchase price, it’s time to pick up your keys!

10. Move in
Congratulations! All the hard work has paid off as you prepare to move in to enjoy your new home, or prepare for new tenants to move in.

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