Inheritances can be a bittersweet part of life. But an inheritance alone won’t always cut it when applying for a home loan. Having genuine savings can help show lenders you’ve got what it takes to meet mortgage repayments.

With many older Australians having accumulated a decent amount of wealth throughout their years, it’s not uncommon for some of their younger family members to receive a leg-up into the property market when they pass away.

But an inheritance alone won’t always cut it to land a home loan.

In addition, you may be expected to show proof of genuine savings. This says “hey, I can put money aside to meet repayments” – which is music to a lender’s ears.

Today we’ll break down what may or may not be considered genuine savings, and how you could use your inheritance towards a home loan.

What counts as genuine savings?

Genuine savings are funds that show off your saving prowess.

Lenders typically look for genuine savings that amount to 5% of the property purchase price. They also like to see that these savings have been held or accumulated for a minimum of three months.

Here are some examples of commonly accepted genuine savings:

  • Regular deposits into a savings account over a three-month period
  • Term deposits held for at least three months
  • Shares or managed funds held for at least three months
  • A deposit paid to a real estate agent, builder or developer that was originally in your savings account prior to being paid

Some lenders may also accept your rental payment history as genuine savings. LJ Hooker Home Loans has options where rent you have paid to a licenced real estate agent can be used to show a good savings track record and count positively toward your loan application.

Lenders may also accept equity in existing property, bonuses, cash gifts, and even your inheritance if it has been held in your account for at least three months.

But then again … some may not.

Genuine savings policies often differ between lenders. So, it’s important to know just what will be accepted by your lender of choice – and we can help with that.

What doesn’t count as genuine savings?

So now we know what may be accepted. Here are examples of funds that lenders commonly don’t consider:

  • Gift from parents or family
  • First Home Owner’s Grant (FHOG)
  • Borrowed funds (for example money taken from a personal loan)
  • Money from selling assets (for example selling a car or furniture to raise cash)
  • Tax refunds
  • And today’s topic … inheritance

But ultimately, it depends on the policy of the lender you’re applying with, because some of these examples (such as your inheritance) may be accepted under certain circumstances.

How can I use my inheritance to buy a home?

Some lenders will allow you to use your inheritance towards genuine savings … but with caveats.

They’ll need proof that the money is in fact yours.

A lender may ask you for a letter of validation from the executor of the will. They may want to see a copy of the will and grant probate (which proves it’s legally binding).

They’ll also want proof the amount has been deposited into your bank account. Or, they’ll want proof from the executor (or a solicitor) showing you have legal access to the money.

And finally, some lenders require you to hold the funds in your bank account for a minimum of three months before they’ll count your inheritance as genuine savings.

It’s important to get clear on the requirements of your preferred lender.

How do we help?

We do the hard work for you using our expert knowledge of lenders and policies. We’ll put lender options in front of you based on your circumstances. That way we get your loan approved on time.

If you have an inheritance and are thinking of taking a property step, speak with our team of lending specialists.

Our lending specialists are available 7 days a week for a phone, web, or face to face chat.

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This article is prepared based on general information. It does not take into account individual financial objectives or needs and is not financial product advice.