Over 50 & Buying Your First Home

For many people, buying a home is a major financial commitment. Have you considered buying a house later in life?
Are you looking for a way to get out of renting? Are you trying to get into the market before interest rates increase? Whatever your reason, a mortgage could give you the stability you are looking for and get out of the renting cycle. Speak to our friendly team at Horizon bank today.

Buying a house at any stage of life is an exciting time. In this blog, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of being a first-home buyer in your 50s, plus some other key tips for property buying in general.

Advantages of buying a home in your 50s

By this stage of life, you will hopefully have money saved up from years of employment. Savings are essential to put towards a deposit for a home loan and a stronger deposit could potentially enable a higher purchase, opening up your options on the property market. Years of experience will give you more confidence in price and contract negotiations, and a clearer view of the type of property you want. Knowing what you want will also help you plan for the future and give a better idea of future needs concerning mobility and accessibility. Not only will you have secured an asset that can grow in value over the longer term, but you will enjoy the emotional and physical security that comes with owning your own home, as the vulnerability of being a tenant is gone.

Disadvantages of buying a home in your 50s

If you're looking to buy your first property now, there are some disadvantages to consider before making a decision. This may include reviewing how you live your life and making significant changes that may require some time to get used to, but which could be beneficial for your future. This may leave you feeling out of your comfort zone, however, it is important to remember that everyone leads a different path, and purchasing property is a positive venture. There may be pressure to pay your home loan down quickly if your projected working years is less than the standard 25 or 30-year loan term. It is best to speak with a lender about your options in this regard. If your budget or savings don’t allow for you to purchase in the area you have become accustomed to living in, you may need to evaluate if buying property right now is the right move for you, or if you are better off waiting to purchase where you want to live. If you still have adult children living at home, or elderly parents you care for at home, you may need to work around their needs as well which can be another challenge.

First Homeowner’s Over 50 – Essential information

Consider how much you can afford

The first step is to determine how much you can borrow. Using our borrowing power calculator is a great first step. You should only purchase a home if you can afford the repayments, legal fees, bank fees and any applicable government fees like stamp duty. If you can demonstrate a good savings history, this will help when applying for a home loan. If you’re currently renting, take a look at your budget and see if repayments will be more or less than the rent you currently pay. Consider whether you will be better off making repayments on a home loan and consider where you can redirect any savings.

Check your credit score

Before you apply for a mortgage, check your credit score. If you find that it needs work, take the necessary steps to improve it. Checking your credit history and credit scores can help you better understand your current credit position. Checking your credit reports regularly can help you become more aware of what lenders might see. Checking your credit report can also help you detect any inaccurate or missing information.

Think about how much maintenance you can handle

If you’ve been renting, you’ll know it is the landlord's responsibility to fix any maintenance issues around the home. You may have only been responsible for maintaining a yard or small garden. When looking to buy property, think about what type of maintenance you can handle yourself as these expenses become your responsibility as a homeowner.

Buying with a family member

Plan for different stages and financial challenges in life and consider affordable housing opportunities like buying with a family member. 3 It may suit you and your lifestyle to choose to buy with your children or other relatives in a dual occupancy arrangement. You should do your own research on the pros and cons of buying a property with a family member to understand your rights and obligations. Getting a home loan at any age is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is why there are many things to consider when choosing to buy your first home.

At Horizon Bank, we are here to help you with your banking needs. If you have any questions or would like us to discuss your needs further please get in touch with our friendly local team today.

Horizon Bank has a branch network spanning the NSW South Coast and Illawarra. Horizon Bank branch locations: Albion Park, Bega, Bermagui, Berry, Merimbula, Moruya, Nowra, Thirroul, Ulladulla & Wollongong.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of buying property when you’re over 50?

Buying a home could give you the stability you are looking for and provides an opportunity to get out of the renting cycle. You also are securing an asset that will increase in value.

What can I use to prove affordability?

This includes proof of savings or investments, as well as evidence that you have enough income and assets to sustain yourself during the life of your loan and into retirement.

What are the key factors in getting a home loan?

Demonstrate a good saving history such as a share investment portfolio or other investments. Show a sound borrowing history and demonstrate proof of income. A bigger deposit will open up your options for finance. Consider different markets for affordability and be sure the mortgage suits your situation. 

The content in this article has been prepared by Horizon Bank for general information only and it is not intended to be professional advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should seek your own legal, accounting, financial or other professional advice where appropriate, and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Terms and Conditions before deciding whether to acquire any products or services offered by Horizon Bank and/or its affiliated partners. We do not recommend any third party products or services referred to in this article unless otherwise stated and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information and we do not endorse any content on those sites. Horizon Credit Union Ltd ABN 66 087 650 173 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence Number 240573 trading as Horizon Bank.