Unlock Homeownership Faster: Low and No-Deposit Mortgages for Australians

Whilst low and no deposit loans are expensive and largely unavailable there are newer options that do away with expensive LMI and spending years saving for a deposit, but they aren't for everyone.

The homeownership rate among Australians aged 25–34 has declined by over 25% since 1981.

The primary challenge? 

A traditional 80% LVR home loan requires a 20% deposit, not to mention additional costs such as stamp duty, taxes, and registration fees. 

Together, these can easily drive the upfront costs of buying a home upwards of  $200K

And without a 20% deposit, you’ll have to pay for expensive Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), adding thousands of dollars to the cost of your home loan. Also, bear in mind that most lenders impose higher interest rates on low or no-deposit home loans.

Introducing OwnHome, an Alternative for Low or No Deposit Buyers

OwnHome have created the innovative ‘Deposit Boost Loan’ that helps no- or low-deposit buyers to get into their homes faster and save money, without having to rely on ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ (if that’s even an option).

The Deposit Boost Loan from OwnHome is designed to cover the 20% down payment required for a traditional mortgage. You can pair it with a regular 80% LVR home loan from a separate lender. Your UNO broker can help you find a suitable lender for the primary mortgage. 

This allows you to buy your dream home with: 

  • Minimal upfront costs
  • No LMI
  • And favourable interest rates

These benefits can be best illustrated with the story of Shwe and Vrunda’s homeownership journey. After emigrating to Australia in 2020, they’d been struggling to save up the deposit for a home in Sydney. Driven by the desire to provide stability and comfort for their young daughter, they gave OwnHome a try.

With the OwnHome Deposit Boost Loan, they were able to buy their dream three-bedroom home in the suburb of Epping, with just a 2% starter fee (plus stamp duty and conveyancing costs). The OwnHome buyer’s agent helped them find a property that fulfilled as many of their criteria as possible, without exceeding their budget.

According to the couple, they wouldn’t have been able to afford the home if they had to pay the 20% deposit upfront. As despite both of them earning a good salary, it was all too easy to overspend their income with no external financial constraints. Now, with automated repayments for their mortgage and Deposit Boost Loan, they’ve found it easier to save and be mindful of their spending. 

As illustrated by this example, the Deposit Boost Loan can help bridge the savings gap, provided you have a stable income and a good credit score. Allowing you to access the lower-interest 80% LVR home loans. 

And the only upfront costs to consider are the stamp duty, conveyancing costs, registration fee, and the 2% starter fee (+GST). The combined cost of all this would amount to a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars you’d have had to pay for the deposit alone. Not to mention the added expense of the LMI, if the deposit was lower than 20%. 

Benefits of Using OwnHome to Buy Your First (or Next) Property

Should you opt for the Deposit Boost Loan to enable you to buy sooner, here are some of the benefits you can expect. 

Faster pathway to Homeownership

In the 12-month ending March 2022, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw a 5.1% increase, the steepest annual surge since 2000. The increased cost of living has made it harder than ever to save up the 20% deposit for a home loan. 

And by the time a buyer saves 20%, home prices will have increased. Meaning that the amount saved is no longer enough to cover 20% of the purchase price of your dream home. 

Despite saving longer, you are actually further away from your goal of 20%. 

Unless you have OwnHome’s Deposit Boost Loan to accelerate your home-buying journey. For this, you’ll only have to pay 2% (fee) upfront, rather than a 20% deposit. 

You can combine the Deposit Boost Loan with a standard-rate home loan from any bank or lender that you qualify with, since OwnHome accommodates most lenders.

OwnHome Buyer’s Agent

Included in the 2% starter fee is the OwnHome buyer's agent service. Your buyer’s agent will provide you with personalised advice at each step of the home buying process. If you were to engage a buyer’s agent separately they typically charge around 2%, so this aspect alone provides considerable value.

The licensed buyer’s agents have years of experience assisting homebuyers at every stage, from property-hunting to the move-in process. Additionally, they’ll handle all your real estate agent communications and negotiations, yielding considerable time and cost savings for you. 

Some of the aspects of homebuying that your buyer’s agent could help you with:

  • Detailed and data-led appraisals
  • Expert negotiation and auction strategy
  • Regular consultations and updates

Lower Total Cost

OwnHome helps reduce both the upfront and total costs of buying a home. Here’s how it works:

  • The Deposit Boost Loan enables you to secure a traditional mortgage with 80% LVR, eliminating the financial burden of costly LMI.
  • It also allows you to avoid the higher interest rates associated with low and no-deposit home loans. 
  • It helps you buy sooner, allowing you to start building wealth through property. As well as the obvious benefits of being able to move into your first or upgraded home more quickly. 

Imagine you were buying a house worth 1.5 million in Sydney. Depending on the type of home loan you choose, your upfront costs would be as follows:

TABLE TO COME

Working with OwnHome also provides you with exclusive access to a custom Home Finder tool, strata report reviews, as well as building and pest inspection reports – all at no additional charge.

How OwnHome Works

The application and pre-approval processes for the OwnHome Deposit Boost Loan are straightforward. However, as it’s a new product that has to be paired with a traditional home loan from a normal lender, there is some work to be done to help that lender understand how this is part of your deposit strategy. This is where your UNO broker comes in, not only helping you through the OwnHome process but also navigating how it fits into the lending product / lender you have chosen for your primary mortgage.  Some of the steps involved are as follows:

  • Getting pre-approval online, through the OwnHome website. 
  • Once the pre-approval is done, you can file a formal application with proof of income, identification, and tax documents.
  • OwnHome works with a growing panel of lenders, and will accept any bank or lender that you qualify with, for your 80% LVR mortgage. 
  • This is the stage at which you’ll need to select the property you want to buy, with the help of a dedicated OwnHome buyer’s agent.
  • The buyer’s agent will help you negotiate the purchase, obtain building and pest inspection reports, etc. 
  • Finally, you’ll need to review and accept the loan offer made by OwnHome. 
  • Complete the buying process.

To be eligible, you must have an income high enough to service both the Deposit Boost Loan and the 80% LVR mortgage. An excellent credit history and sufficient funds to cover the stamp duty, conveyancing costs, and 2% starter fee (+GST) upfront are also required. 

Credit scoring standards may vary between agencies. Each of the three main agencies in Australia – Experian, Illion, and Equifax – uses a different scoring system. If the maximum score is 1,000, anything above 700 is considered excellent. If the maximum is 1,200, anything above 800 is excellent.

Conclusion

If you aspire to become a homeowner, but are struggling to save up the 20% deposit in today’s rapidly changing, inflationary environment, then OwnHome might be worth looking into. 

They can help you secure a low or no-deposit mortgage while avoiding the usual pitfalls of such loans, i.e., higher interest rates and expensive LMI premiums. 

Plus, you get access to valuable resources, such as a custom home finder tool and personalised guidance from a licensed buyer’s agent. 

If you need more information before deciding, your UNO broker can help you obtain it. They’ll help you break down the pros and cons of the Deposit Boost Loan and compare it with some of the more traditional low-deposit mortgage options. Helping you determine how much your savings with an OwnHome option might be, and if it’s the right product for you.

--

Sources:

  1. Credit scores: https://www.hrblock.com.au/tax-academy/understanding-good-credit-score-in-australia 
  2. 5.1% increase in consumer price index (CPI): https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook47p/CostOfLiving 
  3. LMI requirements: https://insurancecouncil.com.au/articles/lenders-mortgage-insurance/
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March 4, 2024

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