Thursday, 19 February 2015

A Checklist for First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be a bit of a minefield. There is quite a lot to think about and decide on, and plenty of planning and dreaming to do. Below is a helpful checklist for first time home buyers. It’s also a good idea to look at the free information you can find online via real estate agency websites like Just viewing the home page will give you an idea of values in certain suburbs and the difference in a home with three bedrooms or four, carport versus garage, and so on. You can then decide what features you think are essential for your new home and what others might be simply ‘nice to have.’

 Expert Assistance

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from the experts available to you. Buyer’s agents often have contacts in the marketplace and may know about properties that haven’t been listed yet, so they are worth talking to. You can find out more about what a buyer’s agent does on the Templeton Property website.

Know Your Numbers

Before you go house hunting, make sure you’re clear on your numbers. Know your borrowing limit and be clear on what repayments you can afford. Remember to include your closing costs in your calculations. It’s a good idea to budget in a little buffer if you can and keep your home buying expectations strictly within your financial limits. There’s no point getting all excited and buying a fabulous new place you won’t be able to enjoy because the thought of your debt levels is giving you sleepless nights.

Due Diligence

As well as getting a price report on local area sales and one on the property in which you are interested in particular, it’s a good idea to pay for a building and pest inspection as well, no matter what you think you already know about it. The best time to do this is after you’ve made an offer or once your offer has been accepted. If your property is not freestanding, ensure you have your legal expert conduct a title search. This is all part of doing your due diligence and, despite the costs of gathering the relevant information, doing your due diligence can save you from making a very expensive mistake. If your inspections do turn up any results, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to walk away – but it can mean you are in a better position to negotiate your purchase price down, and you can do this at any stage prior to exchange of contracts.

The three most important things to do when buying a property for the first time are based around taking advantage of existing knowledge, gathering your own research, and knowing your numbers extremely well. With all these ducks in a row, you will be well on your way to buying your first home.

Do you have a checklist you use when buying property? What advice would you offer first time home buyers? What advice were you given when you bought your first home? Share your stories in the comments below.

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