PHOTO: Property seekers Carolina Pena, 28, and Christian Arevalo, 31, said they planned to buy quickly. Source: Supplied

First-home buyers have a golden opportunity to create future wealth but most are squandering it with a misguided approach to saving, one of the country’s top mortgage experts claims.

Saving a substantial deposit for a first home could be more costly in the long run than buying sooner with a smaller deposit, a leading mortgage broker claims.

Investors Choice Mortgages director Jane Slack-Smith said spending too long saving was a mistake considering new government benefits allowed first-time buyers to purchase smarter and faster.

“Building equity” was a better approach, the industry veteran said.

“A lot of young buyers have the wrong mentality when it comes to buying,” Ms Slack-Smith said. “They think they have to save a large deposit and perhaps wait until they have an established career or partner.