Buying a home in Australia’s northernmost capital city is a dream currently shared by countless hopeful homebuyers. Find out more about how you can purchase your Darwin dream home with the best home loan deals on the market in this comprehensive guide.
What are the best home loans in Darwin and how do I find them?
The answer to this comes down to your personal preferences and what you look for in a home loan. Everyone is different in this respect, which is why Savvy is great in the loan research process. Use our financial comparison tools to analyse the areas you should be looking to optimise in your home loan. Here are some of the areas we think you should definitely keep in mind when applying for your home loan:
Interest and comparison rates
Interest rates are usually the first thing you’ll find out about a given home loan, as they tend to take centre stage in any advertising on deals. You’re given the choice early on whether to go for a fixed rate or variable rate of interest for your home loan, which is a big one worth considering. Variable rate home loans are generally more flexible with their conditions and allow you to capitalise on market drops, while fixed rate home loans bring with them stability and the ability to accurately budget into the future. Alternatively, you can opt for a split-rate, which gives you the best of both worlds by dividing your home loan into fixed and variable portions.
However, you should probably be taking more notice of the comparison rate, which is seen as a more accurate indication of the total you’ll be paying on top of your monthly repayments. This figure incorporates both interest and fees, which is useful to you as a prospective customer. For example, you might see a home loan with a 2% interest rate compared to another on 2.75%, but the comparison rate might show you that the cheaper interest rate actually has a comparison rate of 3.5% in contrast to the higher rate’s 3% comparison.
One-off, hefty fees (and the ones you can avoid)
These ones sting, but unfortunately there isn’t any easy way to dodge them. The table below outlines the one-off or recurring fees you’ll probably have to pay part of your home loan:
However, there are a few fees that you might be able to avoid under the right circumstances. You can usually negotiate monthly or annual fees or avoid them altogether, which can be a great help to your finances in the long run. Lenders will often allow you to forego additional repayment and redraw fees on variable rate home loans, as well as bypass early exit and break fees that might affect you if you’ve taken out a fixed rate home loan.
Useful home loan features
The deals that stand out to you might be the ones that bundle in bonus additions that improve your overall repayment experience. Offset accounts, through which you can add savings contributions to your loan interest-free, free additional repayments and redraw facilities, which allow you to access any additional repayments and take funds back from them are all features that add to your flexibility.
How do I get approved for a home loan in Darwin?
First and foremost, ensure that your credit report reads well. A poor credit score will doom a home loan application to fail before it’s even been submitted, so try to increase it by as much as you can before applying. You can do this by lowering your credit card limit, paying off any existing debts, and trying to limit non-essential costs. Lenders will also look kindly on those who have proven to be handy at adding to their savings, rather than blowing their money, and stayed in the same job and industry for at least six to 12 months prior to applying.
Are there any grants in Darwin that I can qualify for when applying for a home loan?
Yes – the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) can allow eligible applicants to receive up to $10,000 in funding on the purchase of their first home. To qualify for the grant, applicants must not have owned any previous property or received the same or similar grant in any state or territory prior and the property must not have been lived in or sold prior.
For low to middle income earners, HomeBuild Access opens doors for you to buy your own property with tailored home loans. This can allow borrowers to purchase 1-2 bedroom houses up to $475,000 or 3 or more bedroom properties up to $550,000. Eligible borrowers can be helped by a Territory Government loan of up to 17.5% of the purchase price.
Some new home buyers may also be eligible to receive the Household Goods Grant, a scheme which can supply up to $2,000 for the purchase of household items like kitchen items and appliances or general household items.
Your home loan options
Making your first big step towards buying a home? It's crucial to be across your mortgage options as a first homebuyer.
Opting for a variable interest rate on your home loan means it'll fluctuate as the market moves throughout your repayment term.
On the other hand, fixing your rate locks it in for a pre-defined period. This can bring with it greater certainty around your budget.
It's important not to set and forget when it comes to your home loan. If you find a more competitive offer, it may be worth refinancing.
If you're looking to build a new house, construction loans are specifically designed to cater to the different needs associated with doing so.
A guarantor essentially acts as a safety net for your lender, as they sign onto your loan to agree to pay it off should you become unable to do so.
Purchasing a property as an investment brings with it different specifications from a lender. It's crucial to know what your options are.
Businesses big or small may wish to purchase a property for commercial purposes, which are also different from a standard loan.
Your home loan may give you an interest-only option, which allows you to exclusively pay interest on your loan for a set period.
Just because your finances may be slightly more complicated as a self-employed individual doesn't mean you can't take out a home loan.
Some lenders may allow you to apply for a home loan with alternative documents, such as tax returns, BAS and ABN registration.
Why compare home loans with Savvy?
The lenders to choose from for home loans in Darwin
Like any city, the home loan market in Darwin is dominated by bigger banks. NAB, Commonwealth Bank, Bendigo Bank, Defence Bank and Westpac are amongst the most well-represented banks in Darwin in terms of physical branches. What you may find with these banks is that, despite their wide range of loan offers and greater numbers of customer service representatives and locations, their interest rates aren’t the best going round.