Setting Your Property Goals: How to Get on the Property Ladder in 2024

First Home Buyers | 19 Dec, 2023

With the imminent clicking over of the calendar year many of us will already be pondering our new year’s resolutions and new year’s goals. But if buying a property is on the top of your to-do list for next year then there are some goals you can set right now to help you get their faster.

Instead of one mighty new year’s resolution, we suggest splitting it into six smaller and more achievable resolutions that will help you ace your finances and achieve your home ownership dreams in 2024. At the end of the day, smaller goals mean more wins for you.

So, if you’re one of the many Aussies dreaming of becoming a property owner in 2024, then consider setting these goals for the new year.

Setting Your Property Goals: How to Get on the Property Ladder in 2024

Before you start setting your smaller, more achievable goals, you need to start by understanding your big picture property goal. What exactly are you looking for in a property? Are you planning to live in the property or use it as an investment? Are you after a unit or a house? Which area would you like to buy in? Would you prefer a renovation project or a newer property?

A simple way to get clear on your ultimate property goal is to make a list of all the essential property features you absolutely need. If it’s your family home, it might be a certain number of bedrooms, a car space or a backyard for your pet. If it’s a commercial space, it might be the right warehousing availability or a location with good parking.

Next, identify the lofty, ‘nice to have’ features that would be bonuses, but not essential. This might be a pool for the home, or an extra office space in your commercial building. By getting specific on your end-goal, you will be able to work out a more comprehensive strategy to achieve it.

Third, understand your own financial situation. You need to understand where you stand before you set any goals. Completing a financial health check is a major life win in itself. This is a great way to get brutally honest with yourself and work out what you are doing well, and identify areas you could improve on.

Take a look at your current income, expenditure, your debts, your potential home deposit savings and how much you are managing to set aside each month. Can you tweak any areas to boost your savings? Could you cut back on dining out and redirect that money to your deposit fund? Or could you make your coffee at home instead of buying from a café?

These may seem like minor tweaks but over the course of a year they can really add up.

Goal: Calculate your budget – and stick to it

blackboard with different levels drawn in chalk with dollar signs above it and the words budget plan written at the top

Few people like to live on a budget, but if it gets you closer to your property ownership goals, then perhaps it will be worth it in the long term. Based on your calculations above, work out a realistic budget you could live on. You don’t want to deprive yourself of all of life’s little enjoyments, but having boundaries in place can work really well for some people.

Your goal for the year is to stick to your budget each and every month… at least until you have saved enough to purchase your property. This is the quickest and best way to move your journey up the property ladder. 

Goal: Pay off your debts

Paying off your debts remains one of the best goals you can set to boost your ability to get on the property ladder. In today’s fluctuating economic landscape including rising interest rates, lenders are focusing on sensitivity buffers and placing caps on borrowings in order to ensure financial stability. This means that they’ll continue to evaluate your ability to withstand interest rate increases and maintain loan repayments.

Having less debt increases the cash you have available to maintain your repayments and means that lenders will see you as more capable of meeting your home loan obligations over time.

There are a number of different ways you can work on reducing your debts, such as consolidating or refinancing your debts, targeting the debts with the highest interest rates first, or even paying off the smallest debts first. Consult a professional to identify the most appropriate strategy for you.

Your goal is to set achievable steps to pay down your debts each week, fortnight or month. How you do this will be determined by how much you have to pay off and the amount of money you have available to put towards it. But the goal is to move this down every month, bit by bit.

Goal: Set savings targets and meet them each month

Setting yourself savings targets for each month and then be vigilant in keeping these. Not only does seeing your savings grow act as a motivation to some aspiring home buyers, but it will put you in a better position with lenders when the time does come to buy.

If you’re struggling to save each month, get creative. Brainstorm low-cost ways to socialise and spend your leisure time. For example, hosting movie nights at home and going for bush walks with friends can reduce your expenditure without feeling like you are missing out.

Technology can also help you to make your savings targets. The Stapleton Finance diñeiro app, for example, gives you real-time consolidated tracking of your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. That means you’ll have a better picture of where you are with your savings, and your overall financial health. This is especially useful for first home buyers who can use it to better monitor their savings goals.

Your goal is to see your savings increase each month. Technology and simply making small changes in your lifestyle can see you significantly moving ahead on this goal.

Goal: Improve your credit score

Paying off debts will help you improve your credit score, so this should be your first step. However, you may also need a solid plan to pay off your debts. If so, speak to a financial planner who can help you with more long term debts.

Your goal is to improve your credit score by rigorously paying off your debts and meeting your repayments each month.

Goal: Increase your gross income

image of blue paper with the words side hustle written on it held by a pink clothespin with blue and pink clothespins scattered around it

One great way to move up the property ladder is to increase your gross income. You can do this in a number of ways, including:

  1. Asking for a wage increase from your current employer
  2. Finding a better paying role or job
  3. Starting a side hustle
  4. Picking up additional shifts or working overtime

Your ultimate goal will depend on you. But increasing your gross income by 5 to 10% would be an excellent way to move towards property ownership in 2024.

Goal: Secure pre-approval

There is a vast array of home loan products and lenders out there, but it is important to find the one that is best suited to your needs. Have a low deposit? Are you self-employed? Maybe you’re an expat?

Whatever your unique set of circumstances, choosing the right mortgage could save you thousands of dollars. It could also shave years off your mortgage and mean less stress for your day-to-day life.

Your goal in 2024 is to have pre-approval two to three months before you are ready to purchase.

Getting the right team behind you

Having a trusted team of brokers like Stapleton Finance in your corner will give you a better chance of setting the right goals to see you buying your next property.

With cost-of-living expenses, high interest rates and soaring house prices, getting a foot on the property ladder may feel particularly difficult. This is especially true for first home buyers right now. But for those who are determined to tick off that new year’s resolution and wear the ‘first home buyer’ crown in 2024, Stapleton Finance can help you to achieve your property goals. 

Get in touch today to get some friendly advice from the experts.

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