What is AffordAssist and how does it work?
Struggling to save for a house deposit? AffordAssist is the new solution on the block replacing the need for a typical 10% deposit with a deferred deposit solution.
AffordAssist provides a solution for the biggest barrier to getting a property and a loan – the dreaded deposit. It essentially allows potential first homebuyers to defer their home loan deposit and pay it off later.
According to AffordAssist, buying a property through the platform can reduce mortgage stress by reducing the loan amount, saving LMI (Lenders Mortgage Insurance) fees, and save potentially thousands on interest repayments.
AffordAssist Founder Anthony Aoun said the AffordAssist program has helped first home buyers through helpful education and their in-house customer care team.
“AffordAssist runs presentations offering buyers industry information. There can be a lot of incorrect commentary and drama in the news or social feeds,” Mr Aoun told Savings.com.au.
“These presentations serve to give facts, calmness and a glimmer of hope on how AffordAssist may help them.
“The customer care team can help with the myriad of questions, concerns and fears that buyers may be facing.”
How does AffordAssist work?
Mr Aoun said saving for a deposit has become increasingly difficult given current market conditions and the rising cost of living.
“We have removed this obstacle for buyers, allowing people to get into the property market much faster,” he said.
AffordAssist works by providing a Deferred Deposit Agreement (DDA) between the property seller and the buyer for the amount needed to secure a home. This may include all or part of the deposit, and a no-interest payment plan on the deferred deposit.
The typical amounts that may be deferred are between 1% to 25% of the property purchase price.
“Put simply, AffordAssist replaces the need for the full cash deposit,” Mr Aoun said.
“Purchasers can buy today with an initial part-deposit and pay the balance of the deposit most typically within 60 months without interest.
“They will have 100% ownership of the title.”
The program’s governance process includes a solicitor that advises you about the deposit payment, thus protecting you and other stakeholders.
Who is eligible for the program?
AffordAssist has a list of approved lenders and mortgage brokers who can offer loans up to 90% of the property value.
As with any home loan, an applicant’s eligibility to secure a loan is based on their annual income and expenses.
Borrowers will also be required to fill out two forms: the Pre-qualification and Fast-Track Readiness forms.
The intention of the first form is to gain an initial understanding of your financial circumstances and whether you’re eligible to be referred on to an AffordAssist approved mortgage broker.
Whereas the Fast-Track form tells AffordAssist how committed you are to owning your own home. As part of their governance process, this form may be shared with property sellers to help provide a deposit solution.
Which properties are eligible?
AffordAssist is designed to include all residential property types such as off the plan, brand-new, or previously lived-in.
“There are no price constraints for properties. To-date, the price range has been under $1.6 million, however the program may be used to purchase properties of any client budget, “ Mr Aoun said.
You can select a property from the AffordAssist approved list. The fee for this comprehensive service is generally paid by the property seller.
However, if you’re looking to source the property yourself, you can:
- Use an AffordAssist buyer’s agent for a prepaid flat fee.
- Do it yourself – find your own property with an AffordAssist team member offering free phone assistance.
What fees are involved with AffordAssist?
For buyers looking to purchase their first property through AffordAssist, the following fees may be applicable:
- If you’re selecting/sourcing a property not from the AffordAssist approved property list, a service fee covering the governance process, eligibility, and managing the DDA is payable – $2,000 +GST.
- If you’re selecting an AffordAssist approved buyer’s agent:
- DIY + AffordAssist – flat fee of $3,000 +GST
- Full buyer’s agent service – flat fee of $9,000 +GST
- Governance solicitor for diving clients on the DDA – $600 +GST. This fee is payable directly by the clients to the solicitor.