Port Stephens residents looking to enter the housing market for the first time are being advised to take advantage of a new federal government scheme designed to help them purchase a home sooner.
The scheme, released on January 1 this year, is aimed at those people seeking to purchase their first home but don't have the required deposit.
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme provides a guarantee for eligible first home buyers with a deposit of as little of 5 per cent and without the need to pay for lenders mortgage insurance.
Port Stephens mortgage broker Anita Marshall said it was unfortunate that there had been confusing and conflicting information since the scheme was announced.
"By taking the time to understand the process, I am happy to report that we [at Advanced Finance Solutions] were in the first 20 first home buyer placements in Australia approved under the new scheme," Ms Marshall said.
"I have a Raymond Terrace client [approved under the scheme] who has found a home she wishes to purchase and is in the last stages of having received formal approval on her loan."
Mr Marshall said that the scheme was set up to support 10,000 loans in its first six months - January 1 to June 30, 2020. "The first 3000 have been snapped up, the remaining 7000 will be released on February 1 and there are expected to go quickly."
She said the price threshold for property in Port Stephens was $450,000.
"While this may exclude many homes in the Bay, the price would suit units or duplexes as well as properties in the Tilligerry, Medowie and Raymond Terrace areas," Ms Marshall said. "A 5 per cent deposit on a $450,000 home is $22,500. We recommend putting aside another $4000 - $2000 for legal fees and $2000 for associated costs."
Eligible borrowers are being encouraged to use the guarantee in conjunction with other government programs like the First Home Super Saver Scheme and stamp duty concessions available in NSW on properties worth up to $650,000.
"This is a great incentive for Port Stephens buyers looking to purchase their first home," Ms Marshall said. "To be eligible for the low deposit, an application must be made through a lender, such as a broker or bank. It is available to couples who earn less than a combined $200,000 and individuals earning less than $125,000."
Ms Marshall advised Port Stephens residents the importance of good planning before being "buy-ready". "This is not something to be rushed into. Those who miss out this time will have another opportunity from July 1, when the government will release another 10,000 placements under the scheme."