Are you planning to buy your first home? Purchasing a property can be exhilarating yet a bit intimidating, especially for the unprepared first time buyer. There are a range of factors that can greatly impact your finances and lifestyle. Here are 6 things to consider to help you boost your confidence on your journey towards home ownership.
Costs That Make You Comfortable
Try not to stretch yourself to the limit of your budget. Remember that there are more costs to consider than just the deposit and monthly mortgage repayment. You should also factor in stamp duty, land transfer fees and conveyancing fees, as well as ongoing costs including council rates, water rates, insurance, utility costs and owners corporation fees (if any). Once you have found a property that you would like to submit an offer for, ask the agent for a copy of the section 32 vendor statement which will give you an idea of what the ongoing yearly outgoings for the property will be. Your conveyancer or property lawyer should also be able to advise you on what your stamp duty and land transfer costs will be, including whether you qualify for any government incentives and concessions.
The Size of the Home You Need
No matter how tempting it is to buy a bigger space, a bigger property usually means there is more space to clean and maintain, more ongoing costs, and more things that could potentially go wrong. If you have a growing family, then no doubt you need more bedrooms. Ensure that the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of each room, and the spaces available car parking all meet your needs. If you have or are planning to have pets or children, you might look for a property that has a good sized backyard.
Condition of the Property
One of the most important things to consider when inspecting a property is to make sure that the building is in good shape and all appliances are in good working condition. Whether it is a new or old property, you can arrange for a building inspector to check for any defects or non-compliant work before you purchase (or make your offer subject to a satisfactory building and pest inspection). Remember, what you see is what you get. The vendor is not required to fix any issues that were existing at the time of sale, even if you did not see them at the time of inspection. If you are buying an older property, you should also factor potential renovation and maintenance costs in to your budget.
Proximity to Work and Schools
Check the routes from the property to your workplace and nearby schools. Note any public transportation stops near the property as this can add value in the long run. In addition to looking at a map, why not travel the routes yourself and see what they are like, how busy they are and how much time it will take? This will give you a feel for what your new daily routine at your new home could be like.
The Location and Neighbourhood
Find a property in a neighbourhood that you would enjoy living in. Do a quick research about the local area – perhaps take a drive and spend some time there if you are not familiar with the area. Go out to eat at local restaurants and take a walk through a nearby park. Once you find a location that you like, let your real estate agent know so they can look for properties in that specific area that might be suitable for your needs.
Get an Experienced Real Estate ‘Advocate’
Consider enlisting the help of an experienced professional to represent your interests. They will work for you and act in your best interests and guide you through the buying process – from negotiating a price to navigating home inspections.
Buying a new home is a big decision and financial commitment and it is not always easy to find the right property that suits your needs. But with the right support and advice, and knowing what to look out for, the process can be a lot less stressful.
When you are ready to find your new dream home, give us a call us on 03 9312 4444 and our experienced sales team can help.