Starting again as a single parent can really stretch the budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy a home of your own. HomeStart’s John Oliver has these tips to help.

KNOW what counts as income. Depending on your lender, government pensions and payments, maintenance and child support may all count as income when applying for a home loan.  

EXPLORE the South Australian Government housing grants. First home buyers looking to build their own home can apply for grants in South Australia.

This includes the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant (new home or building only). Ensure your lender will accept the grants towards your deposit, fees and charges as not all do.

AVOID paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance. Most lenders charge this on loans of more than 80 per cent of the property’s value, which can cost many thousands of dollars and add to the cost of your loan.

Instead, try to minimise the mortgage insurance charge by maximising the deposit you put to the loan, or look at a HomeStart loan where mortgage insurance is replaced by a Loan Provision Charge, which can be considerably less. 
CONSIDER a shared appreciation loan if you need a boost to your borrowing power. A shared appreciation arrangement means sharing a portion of your home’s change in value when the property is sold.

LEARN from people who’ve done it. There’s nothing like insider knowledge so ask around. You may find people will be happy to share their story and might even have a few tips of their own.

There are also other options to consider like living in the city instead of the outer suburbs. Check out Moira’s story to see how she got started.