Being first time buyers of a home is a great privilege and an intimidating challenge. You cannot just dive in unprepared and hope you find your ideal home by some stroke of luck. The inventories are tight and the prices often get inflated. You could say that the whole ecosystem can be rather unforgiving towards novices.
Besides, there is always a wide array of key decisions you have to make and they have to be based on data, facts, and figures. So, do not be hasty: You have to tackle the spadework and do the due diligence. Keep your options open until you can make a choice without any shadow of doubt or prospect of financial turmoil looming over you.
Carry out a financial assessment
Right off the bat, figure out how much money you can afford to spend and an ideal price range. Considering that homes cost a small fortune, you will probably have to opt for a loan, aka mortgage to make it happen. So, use all tools at your disposal to stay on top of the numbers game and avoid blowing the budget. For instance, online mortgage calculator is a great asset as it can help you establish your monthly payments.
At the same time, look at a bigger picture and factor in additional expenses of owning a home, such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, renovations, etc. Note also that there are some unique options you can take advantage of, like the mortgage insurance: It is a form of life insurance where the bank is named as beneficiary.
Put it in black and white
Make sure to transfer your brainstorming process to the paper. Once you know the three fundamentals (price, location, and size) list all your nice-to-haves as well as the features you cannot imagine living without. Bear in mind that you will not be able to witness the exact vision you have in mind coming to life before your eyes.
A real estate hunt for first time buyers is about making compromises and smart, informed decisions. Then again, remember that you can personalize, spruce up, and redecorate the new home. Focus on things that have to be present from the get-go: a suitable floor plan, sufficient square footage, undamaged roof, proper insulation, functioning HVAC, as well as electrical installations and plumbing that work like a charm.
The hunting tactics of first time buyers
Finding your ideal home is not a moment of falling in love, but a complex process of deliberation. Cruising around the neighbourhood and touring houses are still the most surefire ways to find what you are looking for. While at it, always take notes and photos if you can. Keep an eye on the amenities in the area around the homes. Nevertheless, we must be aware that the digital age has brought forth new exciting opportunities.
Hence, those who do an online research should always sift through numerous reviews and compare different prices. Also, seek non-staged photos and virtual tours. Locating new homes in Sydney and major urban areas area is a breeze with all the services and information at your disposal. And once you check the listings, consult with an agent because you are yet to learn the ins and outs of a property market.
This brings us to the point that newcomers to the world of real estate transactions should always rely on professionals to navigate the minefield of decisions. After all, purchasing property involves a transfer of deed, title search, and a boatload of other paperwork. Therefore, ask for referrals, do your homework, and find multiple realtors.
They will enable you to put your expectations in perspective and discover realistic prices. You also want to have professional inspectors by your side when touring. They are able to sniff out any issues that sellers try to sweep under the carpet. Of course, you can also request a resolution of any present issue. In any event, once they give you a green light, you can be sure that the home is in good condition and really worth the price.
Gaining a foothold in the real estate market
There is a lot of ground to cover before closing the sale and snatching the keys. So, give yourself some time to devise a plan. Ballpark figures and wild guesses do not cut it. Instead, come up with a budget and stick to it. Narrow down your choices and try to be flexible.
Put your wants and needs on a paper and be prepared to compromise because there is no such thing as a perfect home. I mean there is, but it has to be created and fostered over time. So, take a deep breath, do not get carried away, and learn to set.
If you’re a first time buyer, you should also read about ‘Buying your first home – 5 costly pitfalls to avoid’, and the Audio Podcast post ‘Mortgage Pre-Approval Benefits and Process’.
For a step by step instruction, check out ‘Buying a Home – 6 Important Steps’