One in two Aussie home buyers are overspenders

By Gerv Tacadena

A fifth of Aussie home buyers exceed their spending limit when purchasing a home.

When it comes to purchasing a property, a survey of Australian property buyers revealed that most of them are exceeding their spending limits by as much as $150,000.

According to the ME poll, 22% of home buyers are overspenders, with 46% spending an extra $30,000 on their purchase. Roughly 30% of overspenders allocated another $50,000 for their purchase, while 10% secured an extra $150,000 to buff up their budget.

The poll indicated that a majority of these home buyers overspent because they "have fallen in love with the property". Twenty-eight percent of overspenders, on the other hand, underestimated the budget required. There are also a number of respondents who said they were underquoted by an agent (15%) or were caught up in a bidding war (12%).

For 64% of these overspenders, the consequences of them exceeding their budget have been significant -- 28% said it has impacted other financial targets, 27% had to alter their current spending, and 24% underwent an emotional stress.

Also Read: Millennials to overtake boomers in real estate spending within five years

ME head of home loans Patrick Nolan noted that because buying a home is one of the biggest purchases a buyer can make, sticking to spending limits is vital.

The poll noted that the most common basis for spending limits include: what people are comfortable spending to avoid too much debt (55%), other financial commitments (52%), the maximum they could borrow from their bank (46%).

Nolan made sure to point out two important keys for buyers when it comes to spending within their means.

"The first is when you calculate what you can borrow and – while your bank is legally obligated to only lend an amount you can afford to repay over the life of the loan, including at a higher interest rate – it’s your responsibility to ensure the information you provide them, particularly your expenses, is accurate, so they can make an accurate long-term assessment," he said.

"The second point is at the moment of purchase where it’s the responsibility of the buyers to remain within their set spending limit, particularly if that limit is based on the maximum amount that can be borrowed from the bank."

Of those buyers who have stuck with their budget, 74% said the key to succeeding to do so was patience. Several of them also advised against participating in auctions and buying in costly locations.

"Keep your feelings in check and if you can’t, remove yourself from the situation by organising someone else to do the purchasing for you, either a family member or friend, or even a professional buyer. Change your buying criteria, including size, location, or style of property," Nolan said.

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