Broker backs government schemes to help first-home buyers

A Brisbane mortgage broker is on a mission to help first-home buyers and single parents into the property market and she is backing the government schemes that make this easier.

The First Home Guarantee Scheme is a government incentive for first-home buyers, enabling them to purchase their first home with a deposit as low as 5%, without the need to pay lenders mortgage insurance.

The Family Home Guarantee is an initiative to help eligible single parents with at least one dependent purchase a home sooner. It is administered by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) on behalf of the Australian government and aims to support eligible single parents, whether they are first-home buyers or a previous homeowner.

Maryanne Elliott (pictured above), from Brisbane brokerage 360 Mortgage Solutions, is a supporter of both schemes.

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“These schemes are a fantastic opportunity to help people who might need extra assistance to get into the competitive property market,” Elliott said. “Predominantly, my niche is first-home buyers, who I help by landing a spot on the scheme with a 5% deposit, and single parents with dependent children, who are eligible for a 2% deposit on the Family Home Guarantee Scheme.”

Elliott said the Family Home Guarantee scheme was an opportunity for single parents who weren’t necessarily first-home buyers to secure a property with only a 2% deposit of the total home price. 

“I have had some clients sell a car which has given them the funds for a lump-sum deposit, along with their strong rental ledger as proof of strong payment history, to get into their own home. By helping these clients well and truly pulls at the heartstrings,” she said. “The prospect of owning a home can feel so out of reach for some, and scheme positions are limited with only select lenders, each with a limited number of spaces, so I highly recommend if you are eligible to visit a broker – otherwise you might miss out.”

Elliott said the most common issue she had found with her first-home buyer clients was that many do not want to buy a new dwelling, especially in her target area of southeast Brisbane.

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“This means they will be downsizing significantly and will no longer have a backyard, which is a big impact,” she said. “With the First Home Guarantee Scheme, buyers can use 5% of their savings to buy a new or existing home, which opens choice for them. … This is a great solution for those who do not have a full 20% deposit, need to pay extra for LMI or find someone who is willing to go guarantor. In some circumstances, it can make it hard if mum and dad go guarantor for their child and it can get awkward.”

Elliott said she finds working with first-home buyers very special as they are always grateful you can help them into their first home. 

“I am now finding first-home buyers that I have previously helped are now coming back to me wanting to buy an investment property, which is wonderful to see,” she said. “As brokers, we need to understand different lenders’ policies when it comes to first-home buyers, as many first-home buyers might go straight to a bank and get declined for whatever reason – but if they come to a broker, we can show them which banks can work for them. We can guide them through the process, have multiple appointments with them before gaining pre-approval, talk through what steps are needed, what they want or need in a property. It is a soft approach, but we show them why we take them, because it is in their best interest.”