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Find the buying tips you need on Doorsteps

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Samantha is a Sydney-based real estate and home improvement writer. She is currently Head of Marketing at OpenAgent.

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Buying and selling your home should be a joyous experience, but it can be clouded with complication, confusion and stress. That’s one of the reasons we’ve launched Doorsteps, our new site for all things buying, selling and owning property. 

We’ve started by putting together a few resources to help you shop for your next property with confidence and find the home you love.

Buying a home: a how-to guide

Buying a new home is an exciting experience and a huge milestone for many. But what should be a joyful time can often be littered with complications and stress. 

To help you feel more confident along this journey, we've explained every step of the process and explored some of the often-overlooked details that can stall your progress to ensure you reach the best outcome possible. 

Read our Home Buying Guide

If you’ve already got a home and you’re thinking about upsizing and moving to a bigger house, we’ve put together some of the pros and cons in our guide to upsizing into a bigger home, If you’re in the opposite camp and planning to downsize, then our guide to downsizing from the family home is for you. Both guides layout the process and highlight the considerations as you ponder your next move.

Buying and selling at the same time, can come with a whole new level of stress, hurdles and potential costs. The main dilemma you will be faced with is timing and cash flow or access to finance which can make the process feel more difficult than it needs to. We’ve put together some advice on how to manage buying and selling at the same time.

And if you’re still in the planning phase of saving and getting your finances in order, we’ve compiled some handy tips around how to save for a house deposit over on the Doorsteps blog. Looking to purchase a second home? We’ve got you covered. Find out more about how to use existing equity in your property to leverage your next purchase.

Buyers agents: what you need to know

With low housing stock on the market, and a record number of people buying in an area they aren’t familiar with, we've seen a recent rise in this concept of Buyers Agents (also known as Buyers Advocates).

So what is a buyer's agent? Simply put, a buyer’s agent is a licensed professional who acts on behalf of someone looking to buy a property. Find out here about what a buyer's agent does and are they worth it?

If you’ve decided a buyer's agent is the way to go, we've pulled together a list of the best buyer’s agents in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane. And given that fees and costing structures can vary, we’ve pulled together the most typical buyer’s agent costs you can expect when engaging their services to purchase a home.

Everything you need to know about finance

If it’s been a while since you’ve actively thought about your mortgage, you aren’t alone; but if you are thinking of buying a new property it’s worth brushing up on some of the lingo and options. 

Buying & Selling at the same time? - you really should know about bridging finance

A bridging loan—also known as bridging finance or a relocation loan—is a short-term loan to enable you to purchase a new property while you sell your existing property. A bridging loan can also help you build a new home while living in your current property. 

Find out all about bridging loans with our Doorsteps guide

What is a mortgage offset account and how is it different to redraw?

Maybe you already have an offset account or you vaguely have heard it mentioned by some bank at some point. Basically, an offset account is a dedicated, everyday transaction account linked to your home loan or mortgage. The money in that account will "offset," or reduce, the total balance that is used to calculate the interest payable each month. 

You don’t actually earn interest in an offset account, but the money is still working for you by reducing the balance - and interest payable - on your home loan. Note that offset accounts are usually exclusively linked to a variable rate home loan, so you will not be able to get this feature with a fixed-rate mortgage.

Find out more about Offset accounts 

A redraw facility gives you the ability to make additional payments towards your home loan, and withdraw those funds at a later date if needed. The funds in your redraw account work to reduce the balance (or principal) on your loan, which means you pay less interest. This can help you to save money while paying down your loan sooner.

The main difference between an offset and a redraw facility is an offset is a transaction account which means your everyday banking (e.g. your salary sitting in your bank account) can be used to reduce your interest whereas a redraw facility is extra money you’ve paid off your home loan but you can get back if you need it. 

Learn more about redraw and how it works

What is the difference between fixed vs variable rate home loans?

Trying to make sense of the mortgage jungle? Not sure if a fixed rate or variable rate home loan is right for you?

It’s important because the interest rate you pay has a big impact on your home loan repayments over time. We’ve put together a handy article to explain the difference between fixed and variable rate home loans so you can decide which works best for you.