Buying your very first home can induce feelings of excitement and nervousness, often at the same time and for many different reasons. Will you find a suitable home within your budget in an area you want to live? Will you be able to comfortably pay off the mortgage and still enjoy some kind of social life? Will you make the right choice when it comes to buying?
While it’s natural to feel nervous when faced with such a life changing decision, it’s important to do your homework, be informed and remain level-headed when it comes to purchasing a property.
Our 5 tips below will help you through the process so you’ll be on your way to owning your very first home in no time.
Learning from other people’s successes and mistakes can be highly valuable so ask family, friends and co-workers about their experiences when it came to purchasing their first home. What were the factors that determined the suburbs they sought homes in? Did they have a wish list? Did they end up finding the ‘perfect’ home or did they settle? What did they compromise on and did they regret it? How long did they remain living in their first home? If they had it to do over again what would they have done differently?
Understanding the decision making process and mistakes of others may give you a new perspective on what to consider and what to look out for when it comes to buying your first home.
Create a wish list
There will be things you will compromise on and things you won’t for whatever reason ie. commute time to and from work, family commitments. Before you begin your house hunt, create a detailed wish list and place an asterisk next to those items that are non-negotiable. The items without are up for negotiation and the question ‘what if’ can be debated if you find a home that checks all the must-have boxes but is lacking in other areas.
Take your wish-list with you when you view homes. After each inspection take notes on the property and how it matched up to what you want in a home. It can be easy to forget small details, especially if you’re viewing several homes in a weekend and many homes over a few weeks.
Be realistic about your budget
If the home you fall in love with needs work or extras (dishwasher, air conditioning, new fences, bathroom upgrade, landscaping) you need to decide if you can live without these items, if you’ll borrow extra to purchase them as soon as you move in or if you’ll save and buy them when you can.
Overextending on your first home can set you behind from the get-go and you may find yourself in a lot of debt and struggling to keep up with payments. Know your budget inside and out before you go house hunting and be prepared to compromise on things that are optional extras. If budgeting isn’t a strength ask a trusted family member to do the sums with you.
Take a buddy
If you’ve found a property you like and want to go back for a second look, take a friend or family member with you. They will help give you a fresh perspective on the property and they may notice or consider things you have overlooked. Be open to their feedback and consider what they say carefully as they will not be ‘swept up in the moment’ as you may be.
Get a property inspection
Don’t forfeit getting a property inspection because the house looks ‘great’ and you’d rather spend the money on something more interesting. Properties that look great and are new can also be prone to problems. Spending that little bit of extra money now will give you peace of mind for years to come.
If you’d like to talk to a Noel Jones Agent about suitable properties for your first home please contact your nearest office. Find out what stamp duty you’ll pay as a first time home buyer.