1. Get your finance sorted
Many novice homebuyers focus on finding the right home, comparing neighbourhoods and the condition of houses before they get their finance in order. Talk to a qualified lender and get mortgage preapproval, this way when the right home comes up your finance is ready.
2. Choose the right home loan
A home loan is only right if it is right for your circumstances. There are many ways to get a home loan, but the right home loan suits your needs – not the lenders. Do your research and don’t be conned by deals which look too good to be true; they almost always are!
3. Keep your emotions in check
When you are viewing properties stay calm and be non-committal. Real estate agentsare good at reading emotions and will negotiate accordingly! Auctions thrive on excitement, so if you think this will cloud your judgment consider getting a buyer’s agent to bid on your behalf.
4. Organise a thorough inspection
Vendors are unlikely to reveal major problems, so it is vital a professional inspects your property and provides a detailed report. Feel free to ask the inspector for more information and pose the question “Would you buy this property?”
5. Don’t be influenced by ‘the market’
Don’t be influenced by market cycles. While it is sometimes more advantageous to buyers than sellers, don’t wait until the perfect time arrives. It rarely does. If you are ready to buy think about whether this is the right time for you (or not), don’t make a decision based on short term market conditions.
6. I’m fed up!
Have you been looking for ages, but can’t find the right property? Many home buyers have learnt to their peril that to ‘buy in haste’ means they will ‘repent at leisure’. So don’t buy in frustration. Step out of the market for a while, or consider getting a buyer’s agent to look at properties on your behalf.
7. Price isn’t everything
Buy the right property, not necessarily the cheapest property. Price is what you pay, value is what you get – so don’t make the dollar value your only criteria. A cheap property is often cheap for a good reason.
8. Research your neighbourhood
Have a good look around your neighbourhood and visit at different times of the day and on the weekends. You are not just buying a house, but into a suburb. Seek out information on the quality of local services, crime rates and any other social issues - some parts of a suburb may be better than others.
9. Read Your Contract
Don’t sign anything without getting legal advice. A contract has long-term consequences. Know that you have the right to ask for clauses to be struck out or added to this important document.
10.This isn’t all there is
This list isn’t exhaustive; there are many other issues to consider when buying a home. Make sure you are well informed before you make what is likely to be your largest ever financial transaction. Always get independent advice which has been tailored for your personal situation.