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I have made several inquiries about Home Loan and only Steve took so much time and effort to assist me. Being a first home buyer, there where so many things that didn't quite understand and Steve patiently explained even the smallest details. The customer service given was beyond expectation and didn't end on the contract signing. Everyone in Loan Choice is outstanding! Debra, Nicole, Elise and Steve you really helped make my dreams come true.
Olga Angeles

Buy now to avoid a $2000 disappointment

If you are planning to take advantage of Federal and state First Home bonuses, you'd better get a move on, because time is running out.

First-home buyers may be entitled to up to $7000 under the Federal Government's First Home Owner Grant. This is not affected by the purchase price of the property. You may also be entitled to an additional $5000 under the Victorian Government's First Home Bonus scheme, if the property costs less than $500,000.

But the Victorian Government Bonus reduces to $3000 from January 1, 2006 and expires completely on June 30, 2007.

Property market conditions are the best in years for first-home buyers and there is no doubt that they are making their presence felt in real estate markets nationwide. They represent 19.9 per cent of the market - up about 30 per cent on 18 months ago.

After several years of rapid price growth, residential prices have stabilised, with moderate increases in steady market conditions. Melbourne's median house price is $363,000 and in Sydney it's $555,000, down to $400,000 in other parts of NSW. Tasmania offers bargains around $200,000, while the unit price median ranges from $360,000 in NSW to $160,000 in Tasmania. The REIV forecasts growth of between 1 and 2 per cent for the 2005 calendar year.

With the spring selling season now in full swing, it's a good time to buy. But do your homework carefully before purchasing. Make sure you are clear about what you want and can afford - and talk it through with your Choice advisor.