Work on your budget
Before you buy, it’s vital you know what your actual living expenses are by checking bank and credit card statements so that your new home doesn’t become a new financial hardship. You also need to factor in what the drain will be on your balance when the mortgage repayments kick in, and what you can service. Also, realise that when you buy, there are many other fees that can occur outside of just purchasing. These include stamp duty, conveyancing fees, building inspections and mortgage insurance.
Get to know the local market
If you don’t know the local property market, it’s easy to be bidding and negotiating completely unaware of the true value of what you’re wanting to buy. Speaking to a First National representative is a great way to get grounded in what the market is doing as the situation can change week-by-week, and is not always reflected by what you can see online. Don’t be shy about asking for the seller’s asking price during a home inspection or when looking at a home online.
Be prepared to make an offer
Knowing what you can spend comes down to knowing your financial position, as mentioned earlier. To be properly prepared to make an offer, knowing what you can borrow is critical, as it can impact your initial offer and negotiating power. Speaking to a range of lenders and getting loan pre-approval is highly advised. Having loan pre-approval means you can negotiate with confidence and be fully prepared, knowing clearly what you can spend and what you can’t!
Prepare your list of must-haves
Consider what you want vs what you really need from your new home. Try to remain flexible if it’s a non-essential item. You may soon discover that when you revise your expectations, you also have a lot more properties to choose from as a result. Also, bear in mind that a first home can be a ‘stepping stone’ to something better – stay focused on finding something that you can add value to over time, while riding capital growth.
Build your own
If you can’t find a home you love, First National can assist you with a land purchase. Many first home buyers are opting for land to build in established or new suburbs, and you don’t have to compromise on home features. If you’re considering a range of locations, speak to First National prior to leaping into a decision. You’ll gain insight about areas that are most likely to yield the best price growth.
Do your due diligence
Getting a building and pest inspection, and a conveyancing lawyer to check your contract, local overlays and run a title search, can save you a lot in the long run. Many first home buyers never factor these items into their house hunting budget, but they should, for peace of mind later.