If your heart is set on buying a home in 2017 we’ve got some advice on how to realise your dream.  
Get familiar with the home buying process.
Map out the pathway to home ownership. It is critical to understand each stage of the home ownership journey and what’s involved. The key steps include obtaining finance, finding the right home and finalising the purchase. If you’re getting overwhelmed with all of the info out there, we’ve got a great home buyer’s map here. Or come along to one of our free home buyer seminars.
Define your goals.
Are you looking to buy an established home or do you intend to build? Understanding what you want will enable you to establish timelines and set a budget. Other things to consider include where you want to live, the sort of lifestyle you want to maintain and your future plans.
Start saving!
The greater your deposit, the less you will have to borrow. If you’re going with a bank or credit union, it could also minimise the amount of Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance (LMI) you may need to pay. Ways to increase your savings include moving back into your parents’ home to save on rent, controlling your daily spending and investigating deposit products that will provide you with the best returns. HomeStart has lots of way to lower the amount you’ll need upfront, such as low deposit loans and lower upfront costs because of our alternative to LMI. You can find out how much deposit you’ll need with our online deposit calculator.
Check out available grants and concessions
Although the First Home Owners Grant for established homes ended in July 2014, South Australia first-time buyers who choose to build or buy a new property may be eligible for a grant of up to $15,000. There are also concessions on stamp duty when building or buying off-the-plan, which can significantly lower the entry costs.
Realestate.com.au is your friend!
Keep an eye on the real estate market, particularly the housing prices in the areas you are interested in. By starting your research early, you can make an educated decision on price fluctuations and know what you are prepared to pay for in a certain area.   
Start looking at home finance.
It’s never too early to start researching home loans to finance your purchase. There are thousands of loans options available and the right loan will depend on your personal financial situation. Consider what is important – lower interest rates, low deposit options and the flexibility of each loan. Some lenders, such as HomeStart, offer low deposit loans to assist if you have limited savings upfront. The more research you do, the more likely you are to find the right fit. 
Ask for help
Speak with your financial institution or a mortgage broker and talk to friends and family who have been through the process.  You can also carry out your own research on the Internet, using home loan comparison sites and online calculators. HomeStart is always here to chat as well – there are no stupid questions in our eyes, we’re here to help.
Are you ready for a home?
Be certain that buying a home is the right move for you. See your purchase as a 5-10 year commitment. Look at the circumstances in your life now and in the future, including evaluating your job security and personal life. If you plan to move cities for your work, or start a family in the next year or so, it may be best to hold-off on your purchase.