So you have decided to buy your first home. Congratulations, this is one of those moments in the book of life where one chapter ends, and another, even more exciting one, begins. Buying a home is, although also a serious project, a fun and rewarding venture where you get to explore and discover the beautiful opportunities around you and finally, settle on a place you’ve always dreamed would one day be yours.
However, home shopping is no child’s play, and you will need to resort to some prudent planning and invest time and effort to find the place that speaks to your heart and mind. Here is the foolproof guide to help you make the best decision possible.
Settle on the type of home first
First things first, you need to think long and hard about the type of home that would best suit your needs, no matter how simple the question might seem at first glance. You’ll be surprised to find that among traditional family homes, condos, townhouses, and multi-family buildings, your best option was actually something far different from what you have previously imagined.
This is not a step you want to rush, as every home type ticks some of the boxes in the pros and the cons columns. You might even decide to save big on the purchase price by getting a fixer-upper, although beware that the amount of financial investment required to transform it into your dream home might not be worth the effort.
Consider the necessary features
Once you have decided on the type of home that would suit you best, you want to start listing the necessary features that truly depict your dream place. After all, this will most likely be the biggest purchase of your life, so you want to consider everything from the type of neighbourhood you are going to live in, all the way down to your kitchen layout and size.
You’ll want a house with reliable appliances, preferably completely new, and a location with fast connections to the city and all the important institutions, such as hospitals, schools, etc. Remember, you need to set your non-negotiables, and stick with them.
Have an agent guide you through the process
To be perfectly clear, you don’t need a real estate agent to guide you through the selection and buying process. However, hiring a professional to handle such an important project in your life is a sound idea. Real estate agents can use their connections not only to pick out the homes built by the very best architecture firms in Melbourne and around Australia, but they will also negotiate on your behalf to lower the price.
When it comes to buying a home, a professional help can make all the difference. This brings us to another crucial point.
Inspect the property thoroughly
Again, you could buy a home without the help of a property inspector, but it’s a bad idea. If electric work, water installations, soil inspection, wood quality and such are not your forte, you can easily overlook a potentially serious problem in the home’s design, leading to a complete disaster in the future.
That’s why employing property inspection once you move into the final stages of your selection process is a must. A professional will thoroughly examine the house or apartment inside and out and provide you with a detailed report that could work in your favour in bringing down the closing price.
Get your finances in order
Finally, you’ll need to make a detailed financial plan. This includes the final closing cost of the home as well as how much you will have to invest in the house in the first two-to-five years. The closing cost will include settlement and title fees, homeowner’s insurance and other prepaid services, taxes, and the original fees charged by your lender.
Your home investment costs will contain all of the expenses regarding home renovations, upkeep, equipment, appliances, furniture and utilities. So think wisely before you sign, as you might find that the costs of living in your new home are well above your capabilities.
Buying a home might not be quick and easy business, but it certainly can be fun and rewarding if you employ the right mindset, some prudent planning, and professional help. Be sure to follow these steps, and you’ll be moving into your dream home in no time.