Buying your first home should be one of the most exciting moments of your life! But – for too many people, it can be a daunting experience, especially if you aren’t familiar with the process of buying property.

At Arch, we want to make more people excited to purchase their first home. We take the time and care to equip our clients with the knowledge they need to make confident decisions and outline the journey they can expect, from pre-approval to settlement day.

Buying your first home is not as complicated as you might expect. In fact, with the right tools and teaching, it’s far more accessible than many people think it is.

Below are some examples of key concepts we’ll go over with you, ensuring the experience is both enjoyable and educational.



A fixed rate loan is a loan that has a fixed interest rate for a set period of time (generally between 1 – 5 years). During this timeframe, your rate remains the same and your loan repayments will not change. Variable rate loans, as their name suggests, are subject to fluctuations. Your rate and repayments will move up and down, reflecting the market. Generally, you will also have access to an offset facility or redraw.


An offset account is a transaction account linked to your mortgage that can be used for day-to-day expenses. By using the money in your offset account, you are saving money on interest, as interest is only charged on the net balance (mortgage balance minus offset account balance). Redraw allows you to access any extra money you have deposited into your home loan ahead of time.


The principal amount of your loan is the cost of purchasing the actual property. Interest is what you pay on top of the principal and is essentially the cost of borrowing from the bank. Principal and interest repayments pay down the interest as well as the actual cost of the property itself. Interest-only repayments (like those of construction loans) only pay down the interest, none of the principal.


Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) covers the bank if you are unable to repay your loan and the property sells for less than the amount you owe. This insurance premium is paid by the borrower (you). The bigger deposit you have, the smaller the premium will be. There are also ways to avoid an up-front fee and include the cost into your loan.


Pre-approval from a lender shows that you’re eligible to apply for a loan up to a certain amount but doesn’t commit you to a contract. Pre-approvals last for about 3 – 6 months and allow us to do all the legwork before you put an offer down. It lets you have a set price range you can afford and shows sellers that you’re genuinely interested.


  • What conditions should you have in your contract
  • How much deposit do you need to buy?
  • What first home owner grants, concessions and schemes are currently available
  • Costs associated with buying a home
  • Why a conveyancer is important to the process
  • Tools we have available to help when buying your home


A mortgage broker deals with banks and other lenders to arrange a home loan for their client. With so many different lending options available, a mortgage broker can take a lot of the stress and work out of the process. A good broker will help match you with a bank or lender that is well-suited to your situation and objectives.

Mortgage brokers are paid by the banks, not by the client.

The 20% deposit is often talked about when people discuss purchasing a home. This is because most lenders prefer to limit their exposure to risk by having a loan-to-value (LVR) ratio of 80%. This means the borrower provides 20% of the loan value using their own money, and the lender will cover the remaining 80%.  

By having a 20% deposit, you can avoid paying lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI). LMI protects the lender in the event that you cannot repay your loan and the property sells for less than what you owe. The borrower fronts the cost of LMI, not the lender.  

So, while you may still be able to get a mortgage with a deposit lower than 20%, you will also have to incur the cost of LMI.  

The best option will depend completely on your personal situation and objectives. Moreover, each of the below options comes with its own risks and rewards.  

Building – it can be cheaper to build what you want rather than buying what you want. However, building adds a myriad of unknown elements that all pose a risk. New builds may also be expensive or difficult to find in the inner-city areas 

Buying – the most straightforward option for new home buyers. Also, potentially the most expensive.  

Refurbishing – a blend of the above two options, depending on the size and scope of the renovations.  

To get a better idea of the options for your individual situation, book an appointment today. 

There are certain demographic features of your home that can affect the resale value. Things like its location, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, car spaces and yard space are all helpful in determining what your property could be worth if you ever choose to sell it 

When it comes to presenting your home to potential buyers, maintaining its condition and keeping it neat and tidy all go a long way when selling.  

If you are thinking of selling your home, Arch can provide you an indication of what your property is worth before it goes to market. We use specialised software to provide you with tools and data that can help prepare you for selling your home.  For example, we can analyse homes of a similar style to yours that have been recently sold in your area and give other insights as to what else is happening in your market.  

If you are a first home buyer in Queensland, or meet other criteria, you may be able to pay zero or reduced stamp duty.  

The State Government recommends that you lodge your stamp duty documentation with the relevant agency within 30 days after they have been signed. Additionally, most banks and lenders in Queensland require that you provide stamped transfer documents at settlement. 

Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI), on the other hand, may be able to be absorbed into your normal repayments.  

When considering your liabilities for a loan application, the bank will always look at a credit card as if it has been fully drawn. This means that if you have a $5,000 credit card, the bank will factor the repayment as a full amount, even if you owe nothing.

Example: For a $5,000 credit card, the bank will work off a repayment schedule of $190 per month. With the cancellation of this credit card, you could increase your borrowing capacity on a home loan by approximately $35,000

Property markets are in a constant state of flux. Moreover, what is considered a ‘good time’ to buy, is wholly dependent on your individual situation and objectives. To get a better understanding of your situation, we recommend booking a consultation. The Arch Brokerage team will take the time to understand your circumstances and what you’re looking to achieve.

Some good questions to ask real estate agents before buying include:

  • Can you show me a recent property sales report?
  • Who is the vendor and why are they selling?
  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Has there been any issues with the neighbours?
  • What’s the suburb like? What has the general sales trend been like around here?

There are a number of different government assistance schemes you may be eligible for if you meet certain criteria. For example, the first home owner grant in Queensland gives first home buyers $15,000 to put towards their new house.

At Arch Brokerage, we specialise in helping first home buyers. To get a better understanding of what you may be entitled to, we recommend booking a consultation.

Per-approval times vary between lenders. If you complete your application and provide all the required documentation, you may receive an outcome within a few business days.

Arch Brokerage can help you complete all required paperwork properly, putting you in the best position to receive a quick outcome.

Your new job may affect how much you can borrow, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Lenders consider a myriad of different factors when assessing your application, including the industry you work in, previous work history, credit and debt history, as well as general background information. Essentially, lenders are looking for the lowest-risk borrower, one they can be sure will be able to afford the consistent repayments.