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We sat down with bcu's Mid-North Coast Lender James Hargrave to discuss owner occupied home loans.


What is the first step for anyone looking to purchase a home

The first step is working out what your budget is for your maximum purchase price. This needs to take into account your deposit, the maximum loan available based on your income, purchase costs and any government benefits such as stamp duty waiver or first home grant that are available.

Would you recommend members getting pre-approval before looking at properties?

Most definitely have your pre-approval in place before looking. Real estate agents will give priority to people who can show they have an approval in place plus it also speeds up the process to obtaining “unconditional approval” once an offer has been accepted.

How long does the home loan process take?

The initial appointment usually takes around 30-40 minutes. Provided all the supported documents are supplied then a conditional approval can usually be provided within 2-3 days. Once an offer has been accepted and a copy of the contract of sale has been provided then we are usually in a position to provide unconditional approval within a week.

Is the interest rate the most important feature of a loan?

While the interest rate is important the most important feature you need to consider is how the loan meets your longer term goals. Always consider what fees are involved, whether the interest rate is fixed or variable, and does the loan provide any flexibility should your circumstances change in any way.

What do you think are common misconceptions people have when searching for a home loan?

Assuming that the smallest interest rate is going to be the best loan for them is a common misconception, many loans have monthly or annual fees attached to them which effectively increase the customer’s repayments. Many people also think using a broker will get them the best deal out there however a lot of institutions don’t offer their best product or interest rates through their broker network. Brokers are also working for a commission so they may not necessarily have the best interest of the borrower in mind.

Important information

Information on this website is general and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this information is suitable for your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on the information provided.