Buying your first home is a big step with lots of decisions to make and things to consider. You should spend lots of time planning and researching before you take the plunge, so to help you in the process we've put together our top basic tips for first home buyers.
Buying Vs Building
You'll want to weigh up the pros and cons of buying an existing home or building your own. Think about all the costs associated and what your budget can handle. Think about the advantages of a house built just for you in a newly developed area versus buying a slice of an already established neighbourhood. Or how about the re-sale values or rental appeals of new homes vs older houses? There are lots of things to consider but the real suitability of buying vs building is totally personal.
Don't get caught out by hidden fees and costs. It may be your first time but that doesn't mean you need to go into the process as an uninformed buyer. Swap the naivety for solid research and thorough preparation by looking into all the associated costs of buying (or building) a home. Consider things like legal fees, stamp duty, council applications, real estate agent fees, utility connection, home loan fees and interest - make sure you're aware of all the costs and try to create an itemised budget that includes all of these before you commit to any purchases or loans. If possible, enlist the help of a lawyer or financial advisor to help you avoid any tricky, hidden costs throughout the buying process.
Do Your Real Estate Research
Before you buy you should aim to become well versed in the real-estate trends and data of your chosen location. Firstly you'll need to know how much your chosen house and land is worth - you don't want to pay too much for a property, but you also don't want to miss out on bagging your dream home because you made an unrealistically low offer. You should also consider your plans for the property. If you're going to rent it out, what's the rental appeal in the area and how much rent will the property generate? If you're going to sell it in a few years, how are property prices trending in the area? Is it a wise investment?
Get pre-approved for your loan before you start house hunting. This will help you pre-determine how much you can afford and hopefully avoid being dazzled into spending too much for a house. It also means that once you find your perfect property, you're all ready to make the purchase - you wouldn't want somebody else to snap up your dream home while you're waiting for the bank to approve your loan.
Robert Jones is a real estate agent. When he’s not writing or selling homes he likes spending quality time with family and friends.