While more people around the country are taking their first steps into the property market, First Home Owner School founder Ian Baker saw a need for comprehensive information sessions for Sunshine Coast first homeowners to dispel some of the myths and show them that property ownership is within their reach.
The recently released housing finance figures from HIA show first homeowners (FHO) are at a five-year high, accounting for 18 per cent of mortgage home loans to owner-occupiers.
But Mr Baker, who has been working in the finance and property industry for more than 35 years, says he continues to see the disappointment and frustration of some FHOs after setting out to buy their first home in what he believed to be counter-productive methods.
To combat this, Mr Baker established the First Home Owner School, a two-part course which brings clarity to the complex First Home Owner Grant, how the banks look at finance applications, how much it really costs to buy a home when you include fees and charges and tips on how to purchase with a minimum deposit.
“We have all heard the saying that knowledge is power and that is the goal of the FHO School,” he says.
“Not only will we be empowering the FHO with the knowledge they need to make owning their first home a reality, we will also be helping them make the transition from being a tenant renting a property to that of being a homeowner.”
Mr Baker says raising a deposit is one of the hardest things facing FHO on the Sunshine Coast due to paying high rents at the same time as trying to save.
“The Sunshine Coast is a perfect example where first home ownership seems unattainable. And can be, if you are a first homeowner expecting to buy your dream home right out of the gate,” he says.
“If this isn’t an option for you, considering taking the stepping stone approach can get you into your first home sooner. This is a simple approach where you buy a first home that puts you in a positive financial position to buy your second home and so on.”
Mr Baker says the seven-letter word, deposit, has become highly negative in property narrative, but it doesn’t have to be.
“We reduce it down to what it is, a number which given the right knowledge is attainable in achieving,” he says.
“The opportunity for people to purchase their first home is within reach to nearly everyone in our opinion, they just need to be shown how it is possible.”
The FHO school has a unique Graduation Grants program, which assists eligible first homeowners with fast-track deposit funding. The initiative is a game changer when it comes to getting people into their first homes sooner.
The next course will be held on March 27 from 6.30pm at the Regatta Corporate Building in Birtinya and another session will be help on April 10 at 6.30pm at the Harmony Display Village. For more information, visit fhoschool.com.au.