Find and compare owner builder home loans

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Advertised Rate

3.39%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

3.59%

Company
Pepper
Repayment

$1,484

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 85%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

2.03

/ 5
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More details
Advertised Rate

2.68%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.73%

Company
Heritage Bank
Repayment

$1,373

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.14

/ 5
Go to site
More details
Advertised Rate

2.59%

Variable

Comparison Rate*

2.60%

Company
Greater Bank
Repayment

$1,359

monthly

Features
Redraw facility
Offset Account
Borrow up to 80%
Extra Repayments
Interest Only
Owner Occupied
Real Time Rating™

3.23

/ 5
Go to site
More details

Learn more about home loans

What are owner builder loans?

Owner builder loans are also known as construction loans because they relate to a home you plan to build yourself to live in.

Why build for yourself? You probably want to create a home style that will match your lifestyle, reflecting your character and values as well as your environment. It's a worthy ambition to create an original home and is one that owner builder loans can help you realise.

Applying for an owner builder home loan is often a considerably more laborious process than applying for your run-of-the-mill home loan. Hopefully, if you’re an aspiring owner builder, you’re not the type who shies away from a bit of hard labour.

The reasons owner builder loans are so much trickier to be approved for? Building a house almost never costs the original quoted price; it’s a risky business; and banks don’t like risks.

Why is it so hard to qualify for an owner builder home loan?

Qualifying for an owner builder home loan is harder than qualifying for a normal home loan because it presents a much bigger risk to the lender. You might be confident that you can build your dream home, but the bank doesn’t know you or your abilities. 

A lender can look at your credit file and get an idea of how you might be able to manage a budget, but that doesn’t give them any indication of your ability to manage a long-term construction project. Unless, of course, you are a licensed and experienced builder, in which case you pose less of a risk and are more likely to be accepted for an owner builder loan.

How do owner builder home loans work?

Owner builder home loans operate differently from standard home loans in a number of ways. 

To apply for an owner builder home loan, you'll need to provide thorough documentation of your project, including:

  • Your project plan
  • A cost estimate
  • Your financial plan/budget
  • Your builder’s insurance
  • A builder permit

In a more typical home loan, you may be able to borrow up to 95% of your home's value to purchase the property. When it comes to owner builder loans, most banks will not lend you more than 60 per cent of the build cost, so it's important to have funds available for materials and other expenses. If you are a licensed and experienced builder, you can usually borrow up to 80 per cent of the build cost.

If you are approved for an owner builder loan, you will not be given the funds up front like with a regular home loan. You will be required to complete each stage of construction, then have it assessed and approved by a valuer, before the lender will grant you the next process payment.

Usually you can borrow ongoing interest as part of your finance package. This means that the interest is capitalised, but you don’t pay interest until your project is completed. Capitalising interest means that interest is charged on the funds you borrow and added to the amount you owe, so you pay interest on your interest. 

How do I get approved for an owner builder loan? 

Getting approved for an owner builder loan is all in the preparation. You are going to have to jump through a whole lot of hoops to get to the finish line, so make sure you’ve done your hoop-jumping homework.  

If you are not already a licensed, experienced builder, then you will likely need to attend a prescribed owner builder course (bar some exemptions). 

Check if you have a clear credit history, as if you have bad credit or a bankruptcy against your name, you are unlikely to be accepted for an owner builder loan. 

Prepare, plan, and prepare some more. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. You must be as meticulous as possible in your plans for your imminent build. A lender will scrutinise you to determine that you are as risk-free a borrower as possible. If you run out of money before the project is finished, they are unlikely to lend you more, and you may have to end up relying on family or personal loans.

Owner builder home loan tips

Be realistic about what you can afford

Running over budget can negate the cost savings of owner building. You ought to be prepared for this to happen. If you are determined to have a dream house of your design, then this might not matter to you, but if the cost savings are an important factor, make sure your plans are as airtight as possible, or really think about whether this is the right move for you.

Add a buffer

Add a 20 per cent contingency buffer to whatever estimate you are given, in case anything goes wrong. Banks will generally add a 20 per cent contingency buffer to your loan, which means that any deposit you will need will be larger, so make sure you factor all of this into your budget.

For example, if the project you are building is valued at $500,000, the lender will often assume a build cost of $600,000. If you are required to provide a 40 per cent deposit, it will mean a deposit of $240,000 as opposed to $200,000.

Money first, then build

Don’t start building until you have secured the finance. Lenders will generally not accept you if you have already started the project. 

Frequently asked questions

How can I get ANZ home loan pre-approval?

Shopping for a new home is an exciting experience and getting a pre-approval on the loan may give you the peace of mind that you are looking at properties within your budget. 

At the time of applying for the ANZ Bank home loan pre-approval, you will be required to provide proof of employment and income, along with records of your savings and debts.

An ANZ home loan pre-approval time frame is usually up to three months. However, being pre-approved doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your home loan. Other factors could lead to your home loan application being rejected, even with a prior pre-approval. Some factors include the property evaluation not meeting the bank’s criteria or a change in your financial circumstances.

You can make an application for ANZ home loan pre-approval online or call on 1800100641 Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (AEST).

Mortgage Balance

The amount you currently owe your mortgage lender. If you are not sure, enter your best estimate.

Remaining loan term

The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.

Monthly Repayment

Your current monthly home loan repayment. To accurately calculate how much you could save, an accurate payment figure is required. If you are not certain, check your bank statement.

Savings over

Select a number of years to see how much money you can save with different home loans over time.

e.g. To see how much you could save in two years by switching mortgages,  set the slider to 2.

How can I get a home loan with bad credit?

If you want to get a home loan with bad credit, you need to convince a lender that your problems are behind you and that you will, indeed, be able to repay a mortgage.

One step you might want to take is to visit a mortgage broker who specialises in bad credit home loans (also known as ‘non-conforming home loans’ or ‘sub-prime home loans’). An experienced broker will know which lenders to approach, and how to plead your case with each of them.

Two points to bear in mind are:

  • Many home loan lenders don’t provide bad credit mortgages
  • Each lender has its own policies, and therefore favours different things

If you’d prefer to directly approach the lender yourself, you’re more likely to find success with smaller non-bank lenders that specialise in bad credit home loans (as opposed to bigger banks that prefer ‘vanilla’ mortgages). That’s because these smaller lenders are more likely to treat you as a unique individual rather than judge you according to a one-size-fits-all policy.

Lenders try to minimise their risk, so if you want to get a home loan with bad credit, you need to do everything you can to convince lenders that you’re safer than your credit history might suggest. If possible, provide paperwork that shows:

  • You have a secure job
  • You have a steady income
  • You’ve been reducing your debts
  • You’ve been increasing your savings

How can I calculate interest on my home loan?

You can calculate the total interest you will pay over the life of your loan by using a mortgage calculator. The calculator will estimate your repayments based on the amount you want to borrow, the interest rate, the length of your loan, whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor and whether you plan to pay ‘principal and interest’ or ‘interest-only’.

If you are buying a new home, the calculator will also help you work out how much you’ll need to pay in stamp duty and other related costs.

What is a bad credit home loan?

A bad credit home loan is a mortgage for people with a low credit score. Lenders regard bad credit borrowers as riskier than ‘vanilla’ borrowers, so they tend to charge higher interest rates for bad credit home loans.

If you want a bad credit home loan, you’re more likely to get approved by a small non-bank lender than by a big four bank or another mainstream lender.

What are the pros and cons of no-deposit home loans?

It’s no longer possible to get a no-deposit home loan in Australia. In some circumstances, you might be able to take out a mortgage with a 5 per cent deposit – but before you do so, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons.

The big advantage of borrowing 95 per cent (also known as a 95 per cent home loan) is that you get to buy your property sooner. That may be particularly important if you plan to purchase in a rising market, where prices are increasing faster than you can accumulate savings.

But 95 per cent home loans also have disadvantages. First, the 95 per cent home loan market is relatively small, so you’ll have fewer options to choose from. Second, you’ll probably have to pay LMI (lender’s mortgage insurance). Third, you’ll probably be charged a higher interest rate. Fourth, the more you borrow, the more you’ll ultimately have to pay in interest. Fifth, if your property declines in value, your mortgage might end up being worth more than your home.

Who has the best home loan?

Determining who has the ‘best’ home loan really does depend on your own personal circumstances and requirements. It may be tempting to judge a loan merely on the interest rate but there can be added value in the extras on offer, such as offset and redraw facilities, that aren’t available with all low rate loans.

To determine which loan is the best for you, think about whether you would prefer the consistency of a fixed loan or the flexibility and potential benefits of a variable loan. Then determine which features will be necessary throughout the life of your loan. Thirdly, consider how much you are willing to pay in fees for the loan you want. Once you find the perfect combination of these three elements you are on your way to determining the best loan for you. 

How do I refinance my home loan?

Refinancing your home loan can involve a bit of paperwork but if you are moving on to a lower rate, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long-run. The first step is finding another loan on the market that you think will save you money over time or offer features that your current loan does not have. Once you have selected a couple of loans you are interested in, compare them with your current loan to see if you will save money in the long term on interest rates and fees. Remember to factor in any break fees and set up fees when assessing the cost of switching.

Once you have decided on a new loan it is simply a matter of contacting your existing and future lender to get the new loan set up. Beware that some lenders will revert your loan back to a 25 or 30 year term when you refinance which may mean initial lower repayments but may cost you more in the long run.

What is a building in course of erection loan?

Also known as a construction home loan, a building in course of erection (BICOE) loan loan allows you to draw down funds as a building project advances in order to pay the builders. This option is available on selected variable rate loans.

Are bad credit home loans dangerous?

Bad credit home loans can be dangerous if the borrower signs up for a loan they’ll struggle to repay. This might occur if the borrower takes out a mortgage at the limit of their financial capacity, especially if they have some combination of a low income, an insecure job and poor savings habits.

Bad credit home loans can also be dangerous if the borrower buys a home in a stagnant or falling market – because if the home has to be sold, they might be left with ‘negative equity’ (where the home is worth less than the mortgage).

That said, bad credit home loans can work out well if the borrower is able to repay the mortgage – for example, if they borrow conservatively, have a decent income, a secure job and good savings habits. Another good sign is if the borrower buys a property in a market that is likely to rise over the long term.

How can I pay off my home loan faster?

The quickest way to pay off your home loan is to make regular extra contributions in addition to your monthly repayments to pay down the principal as fast as possible. This in turn reduces the amount of interest paid overall and shortens the length of the loan.

Another option may be to increase the frequency of your payments to fortnightly or weekly, rather than monthly, which may then reduce the amount of interest you are charged, depending on how your lender calculates repayments.

How much money can I borrow for a home loan?

Tip: You can use RateCity how much can I borrow calculator to get a quick answer.

How much money you can borrow for a home loan will depend on a number of factors including your employment status, your income (and your partner’s income if you are taking out a joint loan), the size of your deposit, your living expenses and any other debt you might hold, including credit cards. 

A good place to start is to work out how much you can afford to make in monthly repayments, factoring in a buffer of at least 2 – 3 per cent to allow for interest rate rises along the way. You’ll also need to factor in additional costs that come with purchasing a property such as stamp duty, legal fees, building inspections, strata or council fees.

If you are planning on renting the property, you can factor in the expected rental income to help offset the mortgage, but again it’s prudent to add a significant buffer to allow for rental management fees, maintenance costs and short periods of no rental income when tenants move out. It’s also wise to factor in changes in personal circumstances – the typical home loan lasts for around 30 years and a lot can happen between now and then.

What if I can't pay off my guaranteed home loan?

If you can’t pay off your guaranteed home loan, your lender might chase your guarantor for the money.

A guaranteed home loan is a legally binding agreement in which the guarantor assumes overall responsibility for the mortgage. So if the borrower falls behind on their mortgage, the lender might insist that the guarantor cover the repayments. If the guarantor fails to do so, the lender might seize the guarantor’s security (which is often the family home) so it can recoup its money.

Interest Rate

Your current home loan interest rate. To accurately calculate how much you could save, an accurate interest figure is required. If you are not certain, check your bank statement or log into your mortgage account.

How personalised is my rating?

Real Time Ratings produces instant scores for loan products and updates them based what you tell us about what you’re looking for in a loan. In that sense, we believe the ratings are as close as you get to personalised; the more you tell us, the more we customise to ratings to your needs. Some borrowers value flexibility, while others want the lowest cost loan. Your preferences will be reflected in the rating. 

We also take a shorter term, more realistic view of how long borrowers hold onto their loan, which gives you a better idea about the true borrowing costs. We take your loan details and calculate how much each of the relevent loans would cost you on average each month over the next five years. We assess the overall flexibility of each loan and give you an easy indication of which ones are likely to adjust to your needs over time. 

Do other comparison sites offer the same service?

Real Time RatingsTM is the only online system that ranks the home loan market based on your personal borrowing preferences. Until now, home loans have been rated based on outdated data. Our system is unique because it reacts to changes as soon as we update our database.

How does Real Time Ratings work?

Real Time RatingsTM looks at your individual home loan requirements and uses this information to rank every applicable home loan in our database out of five.

This score is based on two main factors – cost and flexibility.

Cost is calculated by looking at the interest rates and fees over the first five years of the loan.

Flexibility is based on whether a loan offers features such as an offset account, redraw facility and extra repayments.

Real Time RatingsTM also includes the following assumptions:

  • Costs are calculated on the current variable rate however they could change in the future.
  • Loans are assumed to be principal and interest
  • Fixed-rate loans with terms greater than five years are still assessed on a five-year basis, so 10-year fixed loans are assessed as being only five years’ long.
  • Break costs are not included.