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A 'must do' checklist for first home buyers

Posted on 23 May 2016

So you’ve done it, you’ve saved a deposit for your first home. Congratulations, now it's time to research the market and begin seriously looking for your first property. There’s just one problem. You have no idea where to start your search and what you should be looking for to ensure you get the best deal possible.

There’s no need to worry; we can help. Before you go any further make sure you read our checklist (below). This way you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and it should make your home search easier.

Your checklist when buying your first home

Finding the right home for you can be as simple as following a series of steps; this means firstly setting yourself a budget, choosing a home loan, then deciding on a property type and a location, and researching the market. Lastly, when you find the right home you want to have a pre-sale property inspection conducted on the property before you buy it. Let's look at these steps now.

1. Setting yourself a budget – Jump online and use a mortgage calculator. Estimate what you can afford to spend on a home based on your current earnings. Remember that any rent you are currently paying can be considered as mortgage money, because you won’t be paying this when you buy a new home.

When you calculate how much you can afford to pay on your home loan, add an extra 2% to the interest rate. This will allow you to estimate what you can afford in the future, should interest rates rise.

2. Choosing a home loan – It’s important to find yourself a home loan before you start searching for a home. Home loan pre-approval will allow you to know what you can borrow before you start your search so that you avoid disappointment.

To find the right home loan for you, use online comparison sites, visit lenders and even talk to a mortgage broker. These professionals can offer you advice and help you to understand the mortgage market better. Do a lot of research before you approach a lender for a loan, and work out what home loan features you want and will use.

3. Deciding on your property type and location – There are many different types of properties on the market. These range from single free-standing homes to semi-attached homes, apartments, units and townhouses. So before you go in search of a home make a list of what you want. Ask yourself these questions: How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How much land? Do you need a carport? Which suburbs are closest to work, schools and your other needs?

4. Researching the market and finding a home - Once you’ve narrowed down your selection and location, start researching property online. Look at sales data for the last few months, find out how much different properties have sold for, and work out what represents ‘value for money’.

Many good real estate sites list property across Australia. Once you’ve found several properties that match your needs, go and inspect these. Look at the property's wear and tear and tell-tale signs of movement, such as cracks in walls and floors. Remember you want your property to be as sound as possible as this will save you money later on.

5. Arrange a property inspection – When you find the right home and make an offer, make sure that it is subject to a building and pest inspection, and a strata title inspection if you’re buying a strata titled property. These inspections will reduce your chances of purchasing a home that will need costly repairs at a later date.

Don't worry; we can help you arrange a building and pest inspection in Sydney, or strata title inspection. Just contact us for a quote today.


By Darel McBride


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