First buyers at home in the Valley

First homebuyers are being encouraged to think ahead. file photograph

First homebuyers are being encouraged to think ahead. file photograph

First homebuyers are being reminded to know their limitations and take a broader approach when considering the best place to buy.

It comes as data released by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria last month showed property sales in the Latrobe Valley jumped 18 per cent in the first five months of 2018.

The Latrobe Valley recorded the highest jump in residential sales in regional Victoria – recording an extra 146 sales compared to the first half of last year.

Real Institute of Victoria chief executive Gil King said younger buyers were increasingly having to weigh up the benefits of apartment and regional living – often having to commute to work or not living in a place they grew up in.

"Often when people are looking to buy they look in the area where they're used to or where they grew up or perhaps where their family is," Mr King said.

Mr King said homebuyers were looking to the Latrobe Valley due to its infrastructure, public transport, roads and schools and its close proximity to Melbourne, along with affordable housing.

With low interest rates, Mr King said it was an ideal time to consider buying but warned potential first homebuyers to do their research.

"Getting the deposit is important but you need to have far more than the deposit when you move into a house because that's when the expenses actually begin to start," Mr King said.

"Things like landscaping, floor coverings, furnishings and decorations for the house – you've got to be able to afford those when you move in.

"The other big trap is interest rates are currently low and while you might be able to afford mortgage repayments at the current interest rate you might not be able to if the rate increases significantly in the future."

REIV data released in May showed five of Victoria's top 20 towns for return on investment were within Latrobe City boundaries.

Stockdale & Leggo Morwell and Traralgon managing director Jim Demetrios said first homebuyers looked to the Latrobe Valley because of its affordable housing.

"First homebuyers are going and buying a lot of the more budget price house and land packages because that way they can take full advantage of the [First Home Owner Grant]," Mr Demetrios said.

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