When buying your first home – Should you see an accountant or a financial advisor?

Let’s set the scenario.

Bec is 27, single and sick of giving her money to her landlord instead of investing in her first home. She had heard that first home buyers can use super contributions towards their purchase and she approached Michael at Nexis for an accountant’s point of view. Our interview with Bec is a good example of how accountants and financial advisors can actually provide complementary advice and are both beneficial when buying your first home. Thank you for letting us share your situation, Bec, and for asking for advice when it comes to buying your first home.

Hi Bec! When you contacted Michael for advice on buying a property, what were you expecting?

Honestly, I wasn’t sure. Michael is my accountant and does my tax returns but I wasn’t sure he could help me with investing in a property. I wasn’t sure if I should be seeing a financial advisor but I trust his advice, so I still asked.

That is really common. A lot of people are unclear on the difference between accounting advice and the advice you get from a financial advisor. So did Michael help?

Yes in two ways.

First, he explained in plain English the First Home Super Saver Scheme information as can be found on the ATO website, and in the context of what he already knew about me (e.g. how much I earn and what I already contribute to super), I walked away understanding what was possible.

The second thing he did was refer me to a financial advisor. I saw Trina at Green Associates. Trina looked at my income, my current and possible future super contributions and used her market knowledge to provide the financial advice that allowed me to answer three questions:

  1. Buy a house, or invest in shares?
  2. Take a pay rise as a bonus or contribute it to my Super?
  3. Use the First Home Super Saver Scheme at all?

That sounds like great advice and insight. It pays to ask for help! So, what next?

With the advice I have now, I am holding off buying a home until next financial year. I have negotiated with my employer to get additional super contribution instead of a pay rise and I will be taking advantage of the First Home Super Scheme. At this stage, I have the advice I need to keep saving and focus on my first investment but will be going back to Michael early next financial year to make sure I am maximising my deductions pre and post-purchase and keeping all the right records for the ATO. And then in the following financial year, I’ll head back to the financial advisor to discuss investment options when I can no longer utilise the benefits of the First Home Super Scheme.

Thanks Bec. We have a feeling more and more first home buyers need advice and direction like this, which is why we offer consultations for first home buyers to guide them on where to start. At Nexis, we believe our friendly service offers insightful knowledge that will guide every first home buyer’s journey.