On the back of state and federal government incentives, combined with historically low interest rates, now is an extremely opportune time to buy, and there has been a national surge in first home buyers entering the market.
Below is a checklist to consider for anyone buying a home, regardless of whether it is your first, second, or an addition to your investment portfolio:
- Set your long-term goals: understand WHY you are purchasing that property, is it to live in, an investment, and how long you are planning to keep it – what is the end game?
- Sort out your budget: you need to be able to service your loan, so you need to analyse your income versus expenses, factoring in a few ‘worse case scenarios’. Have you got enough for a deposit?
- Organise your finances: consult with your bank or finance broker to see what you can realistically afford and what type and size of loan you will be eligible for.
- Research the market: there is so much information available online to assist you with this, you cannot research too much. The more up-to-date knowledge you are equipped with the better position you are in when it comes to making a decision.
- Find the right property: now this can be both fun and challenging! You have already set your goals, now you need to find the perfect fit (or closest thing to). Be realistic, stay focused, and be patient.
- Seek advice: seek advice from property professionals when required, and ensure you get a building and pest report carried out. If an investment property, speak to your financial advisor prior to signing a contract – there is a critical set of criteria this property will need to meet to make it a savvy investment.
- Stay clear-headed and practical: it can be easy to get swept up in the emotion of purchasing a property, particularly one you will call home. Stay calm, be thorough, ensure everything has been checked and is in order.
- Negotiate: many houses are not sold at asking price. If you feel there is room to negotiate then do so respectfully and reasonably – your market research should hold you in good stead in this situation.
- Enlist a solicitor: conveyancing is an important process that facilitates the legal transfer of ownership of the property. A solicitor will check all the legalities involving including the contract.