Your first home is your castle

Top 5 Tips For First Homebuyers

The property market can be a daunting place for first homebuyers but with the right preparation and a bit of knowledge you can achieve rewarding outcomes.

Here are a few tips that will make the process of buying your first home smoother.

Research!

The key to making wise real estate decisions is research. Arming yourself with knowledge can ease the process and prevent you from making a costly mistake.

  • Learn as much as you can about the real estate market
  • Research the suburbs you’re interested in and keep track of what other properties have sold for
  • Keep an eye on interest rate information
  • Get clued up on the government’s first homebuyer grant
  • Find out about other relevant government incentives

Get your finances sorted

Your finances need to be in order before you even think about purchasing a property. Having a clear idea of how much you can spend will dictate your monthly repayments and the deposit you’ll need. Remember – the more deposit you have, the less you’ll need to borrow which means you’ll be paying off your first home sooner.

It’s also a great idea to talk with a mortgage broker or your bank manager to get some professional advice – an objective outsider can suggest things you may not have thought about.

Once you’ve established a budget, getting a home loan pre-approved will ensure the home buying process moves along quickly and easily. It also takes away the possibility of spending more than you can afford.

Finding a home

Once your finances are sorted you can begin the search for your new home. Some important things to consider are:

  • Price – make sure you stick to your budget
  • Location, location, location
  • Proximity to amenities, schools and public transport
  • The type of property (an apartment, house or villa for example)
  • Condition – are you looking for a “fixer upper” or something new?
  • The surrounding neighbourhood

Finding the right first home may take time so don’t expect to find something straight away. Buying a home is the biggest financial decision you’re likely to make. Don’t feel pressured to buy the first property you look at.

Don’t forgo the inspections

A costly, yet easily avoided mistake is not getting a building report or pest inspection done prior to making an offer on a property. While you’ll need to spend some of your budget to get these inspections carried out it’s well worth knowing about any potential problems up-front.

Beware of extra and hidden costs

Hidden costs, or ones that aren’t fully known until later in the buying process, can catch some first homebuyers off guard. Make sure to set aside some money for costs such as –

  • Government fees
  • Stamp duty
  • Legal and conveyancing fees
  • Property valuation fees
  • Insurance
  • Moving costs
  • Connection of utilities
  • Council rates

What tips can you share from your first home buying experiences so far?

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brighton/ / CC BY 2.0