Buying a home is most likely the largest single investment you will ever make. This process can seem overwhelming for a first-time buyer, but it doesn’t have to be, if you follow these easy tips:
- DETERMINE AND STICK TO A BUDGET
Before you even start looking for your dream home, work out what you can afford. Affordability calculators like this one from RealNet properties will give you an idea of how much you can borrow, and how much your monthly bond repayments will be.
You also have to factor in the extra costs for example transfer and bond costs.
- IDENTIFY DESIRED NEIGHBOURHOODS AND HOME WANTS VS NEEDS
Finding the right home can mean separating what you want from what you need.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want a brand new house, or an older one?
- Do I want a free-standing house of will an apartment do?
- How many bedrooms do I want vs how many bedrooms will be enough
- Single garage or double garage?
- Pet friendly?
Find out which are must-haves for you, and maybe compromise on some of your wants.
Some home buyers are willing to compromise on location, and for others location is everything. To determine how important it is to you, answer these questions:
- Which neighbourhood do I want to live in?
- Is the quality and proximity of schools a factor?
- How far am I willing to travel to work?
- Which amenities should be close by? (shops, malls, gyms, golf courses etc)
- KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING
In your search to find the right home, you will see many properties and can easily get overwhelmed. Learn to see past the paint and furnishings. Do the walls or plaster show any signs of damp, or are there any structural cracks? Is the roof sagging? How’s the neighbourhood in terms of location and security?
4. BID COMPETITIVELY
With the help of your real estate agent, you will determine a fair price to offer the sellers.
Often, owners who receive an offer that is obviously too low simply refuse it upfront and don’t engage in any further negotiations. Also do your homework properly. Look at similar size properties in the area that you want to buy, to see what the market-related prices of homes are.
5. MAKE SURE YOU WORK WITH A QUALIFIED AND REGISTERED AGENT
Professional estate agents will:
-take care of complicated paperwork
-has excellent negotiating skills and will present the offer to the seller in such a way to ensure the best outcome for both buyer and seller
-can help with price guidance