When taking the first steps into the property market, most people are confronted with a lot of legal jargon and might not even know if they are deemed eligible by lenders to borrow money to purchase a property.
This is why local law firm Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers and Goodwin Blain Financial are running a series of First Home Buyer Seminars in 2018.
This is a first for Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers – and an innovation in the property industry in Canberra.
The first of these was held on Tuesday 10 April and, according to Archie Tsirimokos, Chairperson and head of Property at Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers, was oversubscribed, with more than 80 people signing up to attend.
“We decided to organise these seminars because we get calls on a daily basis from first home buyers, agents and developers, about issues with purchasing property,” Archie said.
According to Archie, first home buyers are usually unsure of what they can borrow and the requirement they need to meet to qualify for a loan or for assistance under the First Home Owners Grant Scheme.
“First homebuyers in the ACT predominantly buy (apartments) off the plan because they can lock in a price on a contract and then have two to three years until settlement occurs,” Reuben Kukolic, Assistant Manager of the Residential Conveyancing Team at Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers, explained.
The main reason for the seminar was to explain some basic property terms and the process of getting a loan and to answer any related questions.
Reuben ran through a series of terms including:
- Cooling off period: A right for the buyer to withdraw from the Contract within 5 business days after exchange.
- Section 17 Certificate: A document signed by a solicitor (after reviewing the Contract with the buyer) waiving the cooling-off period.
- Exchange: When the deposit is payable, signed contracts are dated, and they become legally binding.
- Completion/Settlement: When the balance of funds is payable and the keys are collected.
- Adjustments/Disbursements: Additional funds required on settlement, e.g. Cost of building and pest report, General Rates, Water Rates, Body Corporate Levies, Solicitor fees etc.
- Auction: Established house/Unit. The deposit is payable and exchange occurs immediately after the fall of the hammer. No cooling-off applies if the property is purchased at auction. Normally a 30-day settlement period.
- Private Treaty: Established house/Unit. It is expected that exchange occurs within 14 days. Generally, no cooling-off applies (Section 17 Certificate required). Normally a 30-day settlement period.
- Off-the-Plan: It may be several years before a property is constructed. Exchange can occur with a cooling-off and generally the deposit can be paid in instalments.
The average age of a home buyer in the ACT is 31. This has gone up considerably in the last couple of decades.
“I believe the main reasons for people in Canberra purchasing property at an older age are affordability and life choices, such as education, savings records and travel,” Archie said.
Reuben says the seminar was a success, with first home buyers having the opportunity to be better informed and having access to mortgage brokers, agents and lawyers.
“Importantly, the seminars also give agents an insight into the questions that might be asked by first home buyers and information that could be used in responding to them,” Reuben outlined.
After the success of the First Home Buyer Seminar, the intention is to run them quarterly.
“Through these seminars, we aim to give people a decent level of information about buying a first home, before they go looking for property and applying to borrow money,” Archie said.
If you are a first home buyer, developer, agent or mortgage broker then you might like to register here email@example.com to receive information about the next First Home Buyer Seminar.
What are some of the questions you would like to ask at a First Home Buyer Seminar?
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