Buying your first home is a challenging process especially in today’s market. We have broken down our 5 biggest tips for first home buyers that should help make the process a whole lot smoother.
1. Figure out what you want
Buying a house takes a lot of time, and money, so it’s best to narrow down what criteria you want early on. Figure out what the non-negotiables are and what things can be compromised on. This way less time is spent searching in the wrong place for houses that don’t work out.
2. The Hidden Cost
Things like lawyers, insurance, bank fees, and building reports all add up. These fees can be up to thousands of dollars – however, the bank sometimes offers what’s called a cashback where the bank will give you money depending on the terms of your loan which can be used to cover these fees. This can depend on multiple things such as the size of your deposit and whether you are an existing customer and can be easier with a mortgage broker who has an existing relationship with the bank. However, it is possible to receive a cash back without a broker. House and contents insurance depending on the sum insured of your property can be up to a few thousand dollars each year. You may be able to get this at a discounted rate if your mortgage broker has a relationship with a certain insurance broker. Bank loan processing fees are generally a few hundred dollars and are paid on settlement. You are able to negotiate to waive these fees with a broker but you can also negotiate with your bank directly to waive these fees.
3. Research the suburb/area
Depending on your criteria things like schools, public transportation, and commute times are all factors that you should consider in your potential neighbourhood. It’s super easy to get caught up in the process of buying a house, but it’s a massive decision, and research is important.
4. It takes time
I would have organized to take some time off work if I had known exactly how much administration was involved. There is just as much work to do both before and after a successful offer. Things like signing form digitally will save time and we recommend doing this as much as possible especially when dealing with multiple entities e.g bank, lawyer, mortgage broker, real estate agent.
5. Understand the process
Having some sort of idea of how house buying works will make the process go a lot smoother and will also relieve some of the stress. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your lawyer and mortgage broker about the offer process and what actually happens after your offer is accepted. This will also help you know who to contact and when during the buying process.