There are few investments more thrilling, and more unnerving, then purchasing your first home. You probably feeling a mixture of hope for the wonderful life that awaits you once you become a homeowner, in addition to, some fear surrounding the pressure of the associated mortgage. Luckily, you aren’t alone in all your hopes and fears about this big purchase. Before you go out and purchase a property, here are a few important tips for buying your first house:
Determine what you want – The first step is to determine what kind of home you are looking to purchase. Are you seeking a house, unit, apartment, or townhouse? Also zone in on where you would like to purchase. Ideally target just a handful of suburbs. Base your decision upon where you would like to live according to what you find most desirable e.g., parks schools, proximity to public transport, local shopping centres etc.
Do some online research – One of the most important tips for buying your first home is to shop around. The fact is, you’ll never know what you’re getting until you start looking. Looking at real estate online is a great place to start. Instead of looking at live listings have a look through historical records and find out how much properties in your local area recently sold for. That will give you a better indication of the value of comparable homes.
Sort your finances out – Once you’ve determined how much your type of property in your desired area will cost you, it’s time to get your finances sorted. It’s wise to take some time to investigate the different mortgage options that you have available to you, so that you can get the best interest rate and terms when you commit yourself to a mortgage. You can calculate this out by using interest rate tables or home ownership calculator tools. You can also determine your monthly mortgage payment with an online mortgage calculator, or with your lender. Many lenders allow you to pre-determine your monthly payment amount and other such factors before you commit to a loan. This can help you determine whether you will be able to afford your home ownership, or if you’ll need to find more money for closing costs. A licensed mortgage broker can help you throughout this entire process.
Attend Open Homes – Once you have sorted out your finances you can start looking for properties in person. One of the best tips for buying your first home is to go to open houses. This is something that many first-time home buyers shy away from because they believe it means that there won’t be anything to see. This simply isn’t true. When agents are listing properties online, they present them in an overly positive light and omit negative features (such as the original 1950s kitchen). Nothing beats going to open homes in person to get a real feel for the exact types of homes in area, their condition, and associated price tags.
Engage a buyer’s agent – Unlike regular real estate agents who typically represent the seller in a property transaction, a buyer’s agent represents the buyer. Many first-time home buyers do not have access to the resources that a buyers agent has. Buyer’s agents have access to off market properties that you would never have access to yourself. They can inform you about property values and trends, they can show you houses that meet your specific criteria, submit offers, and negotiate with the vendors on your behalf. Making the whole buying process simple and stress free. When engaging the services of a buyer’s agent it’s important to find a buyer’s agent who specialises in the area you wish to purchase in because they will have more specialised local knowledge and experience in the area. For example, if you are looking to buy in the Mornington Peninsula, a region about an hour southeast of Melbourne, you would want to engage a local Mornington Peninsula buyer’s agent instead of a Melbourne based buyer’s agent.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to becoming an informed and smart first home buyer. With some research and due diligence, you can have confidence that you’ll be buying the right property for you and at the right price too!