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Essential Information for First Home Buyers

Before you decide to purchase your first property there are a number of things to consider, including your current personal circumstances and financial status.


Think about why you want to buy a home

Do you want to live in it, or will it be an investment property? This can help determine the kind of loan you apply for and home you buy, depending on your short and long-term plans. 

Research potential properties and loans

Knowing the market is crucial, so do some research on the areas you are targeting, check out auction clearance rates and recent sales, as well as price trends in the area. Once you are aware of what you are looking for and the approximate price, the next step is saving a deposit.

While some lenders will offer loans if you have saved less than the usual 20 per cent deposit, being able to show a record of good saving habits will aid in getting your loan approved.

Then, when you talk our team about applying for pre-approval on the right type of loan, ask for their help to work out what you can afford in terms of repayments.

Check out our post about what to look for in open houses for a more detailed guide.

Factor in other costs involved

Depending on the property, there can be a number of additional costs, so ask your finance broker what other payments you will face. This can include, but isn’t limited to, stamp duty, loan establishment fees, legal and conveyance services, utilities, property insurance, maintenance and lenders mortgage insurance.

Think about your future

Just because your current situation allows you to get a home loan, that doesn’t automatically guarantee that you will still be able to service it in five years’ time. Is there a possibility your role at work will change? Are you considering going back to study and reducing your working hours?

Get professional help

With so many things to consider, getting professional help is highly recommended. There are many experts in the industry, and it is in your best interest to use them for tasks such as property checks, pest checks and any other legal queries. Going it alone can prove costly. Avoid nasty surprises down the track by getting the right people to do the appropriate checks for you from the beginning.

 

The perfect property at an affordable price - it’s not a myth

So, you’ve found your dream home, but it’s in need of a little TLC. While others may see this as a deterrent, this is actually a great opportunity to nab the house of your dreams at a price tag that’s within your means. Here’s how to tactfully negotiate the price without ruining your chances of securing the property. 

Never enter a negotiation empty-handed

Whether it’s hiring inspectors for a building and pest report, or obtaining quotes from tradespeople, acquiring facts and figures will give you ammunition when requesting a price reduction. 

Even if it costs you extra, it’s worth getting all the information before making your offer. People often underestimate how much repairs will cost.

Separate your emotions

The most tactful way to negotiate is to eliminate all emotions, advises the real estate agent. Try to separate yourself from the outcome and present your side logically. The owner is under no obligation to accept what you offer, no matter how well you present your points. So, if things don’t go your way, being negative won’t do you any favours.

Remember this is someone else’s house

Negotiation is a two-way street, so in order to come to an agreement, concessions will have to be made on both sides. Try to understand what is important to the owner. What can you offer to counteract the price reduction you’re after? Perhaps a longer settlement period so they can find a new home? It’s little enticements like this that can often be much more valuable than a couple of extra dollars.

If you don’t ask, the answer is always going to be no

Real estate agents have heard of a lot of weird and wonderful requests when it comes to purchasing a house, so really you can ask for anything. Whether or not it will be accepted is another thing.

From wanting certain fixtures included in the sale price, to extra inspection requests, you won’t know what the owners are happy to give if you don’t voice your desires. However, before you go wild with requests, think about what is most important to you, as realistically the owners aren’t likely to budge on everything.

In theory, you can inspect a property as many times as you like. In practice though, it will depend on your agent’s availability and whether or not the owner is currently living in the property. You might put off the owner if you are constantly disrupting their day, so as an alternative I’d suggest visiting the street at different times during the week. You don’t have to enter the actual home to get a vibe of what the neighbourhood is like. A house that requires a bit of repair work is a great bargaining tool and generally an opportunity to secure a good price.

 
With the advice of industry professionals – such as our team of brokers with expertise and experience – securing your dream home may be closer to a reality than you think.