Illawarra agent offers tips for first home buyers to help ensure energy-efficiency, manageable and affordable utility bills

Gary Vouris.
Gary Vouris.

AN Illawarra agent says with summer upon us, there are measures first home buyers can take to help ensure energy-efficiency as well as manageable and affordable utility bills.

First National Wollongong director of sales Gary Vouris said with lenders approving a record $33.9 billion in new housing loans in Australia, the number of dwellings financed by first home buyers reached the highest level in 92 months in August 2017.

“The nation is also in the grip of an energy crisis, so what should first home buyers be looking for when purchasing their first home so they can ensure energy-efficiency as well as manageable and affordable utility bills?

“Bigger is not necessarily better - can you afford to heat/cool the place?” 

He said there are three factors first home buyers should explore.

These are the property itself (swimming pools come with hidden maintenance costs), the area’s infrastructure (local amenities, child-care, schools, beaches) and using your real estate agent’s local knowledge regarding rates, bills and the community as a whole.

He said other things first home buyers should look at to avoid “bill shock” included whether there is air-conditioning and if it’s throughout the house or isolated to one area, if solar panels are fitted, what rooms face east and face west to maximise morning and afternoon sun, and appliances - a dishwasher might seem like a bonus, but consider if can you afford to use it.