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Money spent on rent is money that could be used to help you pay off your own home. If you are currently paying $200 per week in rent then you could be repaying a $125,000 home loan.
Obviously the bigger deposit you have the better the property you can look at purchasing. Many Banks now provide finance with as little as 5% deposit and some are accepting the First Home Owners Grant as the full deposit meaning that you may be eligible sooner than you think.
The two major criteria that lenders look at are the amount of deposit and your ability to repay the loan. Generally, the smaller the deposit the closer they scrutinise your ability to repay. After all, no one wins if you can't afford the repayments.