So, you've made the decision to buy your own home. How exciting! But before you can start picking out paint colours for the new house, you will need to work out how much money is required for the deposit and other upfront costs.

Upfront home loan costs are typically the biggest barrier for first-homebuyers to break into the market. So, we've got some tips to help you overcome these costs, and get into your own home sooner.

1. UNDERSTAND all of the upfront costs of a home loan. In addition to the deposit, which can range from 3% - 20% of the purchase price, there’s a range of fees and taxes, such as stamp duty, that you will need to factor in. You may also need to meet the costs of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), which most lenders charge if you have less than a 20% deposit.

2. SET a goal and put in place a savings plan. Once you know the target you are working towards, start putting regular savings into an account where the money is difficult to access on impulse. Cut-back on unnecessary spending such as buying lunch or that morning coffee.

3. FIND out if you are eligible for any assistance. Depending on the type of home you are planning to purchase, you may have access to a range of grants or assistance programs that offer discounts or lump sums you can put towards the purchase.

4. SEARCH for a lender who doesn’t charge Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). LMI is a type of insurance that many lenders charge to protect them should you default on your home loan. Reducing the cost of LMI style insurance can save you thousands in upfront costs.

5. RESEARCH and understand the many different home loans in the market. There are hundreds of home loan options out there from scores of lenders, so it pays to look around and find one that best suits your situation.

6. LOOK for an innovative loan product that reduces your upfront costs, such as the Graduate Loan from HomeStart, which enables you to get started with as little as 3% deposit if you have a Certificate III/IV or higher qualification.

7. SEEK -out a Low Deposit loan. There are a number of low deposit loans in the market which can help you get started with just 3% deposit. Accessing one of these loans will free up your savings to meet other upfront costs such as stamp duty.

8. GO with a lender who will accept grant amounts towards the deposit, fees and charges, as this will lessen the amount you need to contribute upfront.