From the budgeting to the viewing, what should I look out for as a first-time buyer?
Buying your first property is never a walk in the park. But with the right mind-set and advice you can be sure to get yourself onto the property ladder without over-exerting your resources.
Here are five top tips to keep in mind and to help you go about it the right way!
1. Be Honest With Yourself: ‘How much can I borrow?’ and ‘How much house can I afford?’ are two questions that you need to be honest with yourself about. Remember that this is the biggest investment you will ever make, but also the most money you will ever fork out. Be reasonable and make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Be sure to make a visit to your local bank manager and find out in total what the bank can give you in terms of Home Loan. Make sure you secure the latest deal from the bank.
2. Take Your Time: Finding the ideal first home is not as easy as it may sound. Even on a good budget, it may take months for you to find the house you’d like to invest in, and that’s okay. Take your time and make sure that you love what you buy.
3. Be Reasonable: Having said that, the perfect home does not really exist – unless you build it yourself! Be understanding and appreciate the fact that prebuilt homes will have flaws (as well as features you love!). Start by choosing a place that meets your needs, and worry about making it a space you adore later. That’s actually the fun part! Make a list of what you definitely “have to have” and what would be “Nice to have”. Weigh up the options and prioritise so that you do not settle for any less that the “have to have” items and make sure you get as many “nice to have” items within your budget.
4. Check Out the Little Things: Does the house smell funny? It might be a mould problem. Do the toilets and showers work properly? How much will all those ‘minor repairs’ cost? These are all things you need to check before you sign that contract! Be sure to bring in an architect to check the structure and don’t be shy to take a workman to provide you a quote for the minor repairs. You don’t want to be stuck with a home that you’ve just bought but can’t move into because you did not “Check out the Little Things”.
5. Negotiate: Don’t be afraid to ask to negotiate the price. You might miss out on a home or two, but you might even get the house for less. Every penny saved is one less penny you have to pay back! If you don’t ask you won’t get. Be within reason because you don’t want to offend the vendor but don’t fall for the sentimental value speech. Business is business and if you conduct your negotiations fairly than you may obtain a win-win situation.
It’s important that you discuss your plan carefully with a professional real estate agent and that he is aware of everything he needs to know to assist you. If you hide the fact that you can’t afford certain properties than you will just be disappointed. If you are brutally honest and fair in your dealings, there is no reason why you won’t find you first home in no time.