Top Tips for First Home Buyers

December 3, 2012

Home ownership is a dream for most working adults, and many people put up with years of stress and unhappiness just so they can afford the house of their dreams. If you feel like everything you’ve endured up to this point has all been worth it, what are you waiting for? Use your hard-earned money on that swanky pad you’ve had your eye on for the longest time. Before you actually go out and sign a contract, however, think carefully about whether or not you’re about to make the right decision; a decision that could bring you pure joy or make your life completely miserable. Here are some nice tips for making the transition from property virgin to property owner a smooth and successful one.

Calculate your budget

The first and most important thing you have to decide on is how much you are willing to spend on your new home. You should sit down and calculate the maximum amount you can spend on a new home is. This figure should always be kept in the back of your mind when you are going house shopping with your estate agent. Don’t forget to factor in additional costs aside from the base price such as renovation costs, home owner’s association fees, pool maintenance costs, and others.

Plan on making a significant down payment

This tip applies to all people planning to purchase a property, not just the first-timers. Putting down a large sum of money is a good way to decrease the likelihood of having future affordability issues because it can decrease both the monthly payment and interest rate considerably. If you have the capability to place down more than 20% of the asking price, do it. If you can do 30%, 40%, or 50%, that’s even better. You will save huge amounts of money in the end if you make larger initial payments. Keep one thing in mind: Never borrow money from a financial institution to make a larger down payment.

 Study up on the current housing market

In order to make the most of your purchase; you will want to familiarize yourself with the general price range of the style of house you want to buy. Do your research before house hunting so you know a good price when you see it. Remember that similar homes can vary greatly in price depending on its location, condition, and more.

Bring a camera to prospective residences

It’s going to be hard to remember every single house you’ve toured in great detail, so don’t forget to pack a digital camera on your trips. Take snapshots of features you like and must-haves for your home, or capture areas that are damaged and need renovation as reminders of where you might have to spend extra money. You will be able to make a much more sound investment when you have visual evidence of what you are buying into.

Don’t rush into buying, but don’t take too long either

The housing market is not like the local shopping mall. You can’t afford to wait if you see a place you really like because it might not be there the next day. Pounce on a good deal as soon as you get the place checked out by a professional. Unlike the same pair of sneakers that you can get at various stores, homes are one-of-a-kind items that tend to sell when you least expect it. Australian readers will know that there are many financing options available. Getting the best deal on a home loan is important, and banks like UBank will give you the options you need to make the right choice on your loan.

On the flipside, never feel pressured to buy a home just because you like the idea of it. Theoretically, you can do whatever you’d like to your house if you can pony up the dough. If it needs more repair work than you’re willing to pay for, move on to the next house. Pass on anything that doesn’t meet your realistic expectations because you are the one paying for it all.

Get the place inspected

No matter how great a home looks to you during an initial tour, you should always have it inspected by a professional. This is the only real way to know if there are hidden damages and dangers on the property. If you get stuck with a beat-down shack wrapped in new paint and nice wallpaper, you’re in for some serious headaches.