How to Prepare for Your First Home Purchase

You can buy any property… as long as you have the money! However, even if you have unlimited cash, you need to choose wisely.

This article references a recent episode of The NSW Property Show podcast and explains a few important steps that homebuyers need to take into account. 

How to buy a home

  • Do your research

If you want to know how to buy a home, you need to do your research. This starts with figuring out the type of property you hope to buy. 

  • What will suit you best? An apartment or a house? 
  • How many bedrooms do you need? 
  • How important are parking or extra storage space? 
  • What is the most desirable location? 

You can’t take the first step until you have answered all of these questions.

Next, you need to look into the market for your ideal style of property. Where are homes like the ones you want mostly located? What has been the asking price in your desired area? How many boxes can you tick within your desired budget? This brings us to the next point…. 

  • Be flexible

The odds of finding a home that ticks every box, is in the ideal location and falls comfortably within your budget, are extremely slim. 

At this stage, sit down and work out your absolute must-haves, your negotiables and your bonuses. Three bedrooms might be essential, for example, while a dual car port is negotiable. A swimming pool will most likely be a bonus. 

  • Organise your finances

Now that you know what you are hunting for, it’s time to get your home loan sorted. It can’t be stressed enough how valuable it is to have pre-approval for your loan. Fail to get pre-approval and you may see your dream home snatched away while you deal with the bank. These days approval can take a few weeks and the vendor isn’t likely to wait around while you sort it out.  

To gain approval for a loan, get all your financial ducks in a row. Minimise your debt and expenditure, start a regular savings account and get your paperwork ready. This way, when you dive into the market you are ready to go.

  • Get a conveyancer

There are legal steps involved in buying property. Getting things wrong and failing to have a professional review your contract can result in a loss of money and even court appearances in worst-case scenarios. 

A conveyancer knows all the legal ins and outs of buying property and can help you get everything right. This professional can review your contract, help you negotiate terms, organise settlement dates, and so much more. 

Buying without a conveyancer is a risk and I have seen people lose money many times because they didn’t take this crucial step. 

  • Property inspections

Another essential step that is all too often overlooked is inspections. If you fail to have all the relevant inspections carried out, you can find yourself with a money pit. If you are buying a unit or apartment, make sure to inspect the strata records and have building and pest inspections carried out. 

At the very least, an inspection can tell you what work you need to do when you take over ownership of the property. You may be fine with a little work if the price is right, or you might use it as a negotiation point. The last thing you want is to discover you have to spend thousands of dollars over your budget to make the house liveable after you move in.

  • Make an offer/attend the auction

The final step is to make an offer or attend the auction. It is wise to have tackled all the steps above before you make your offer. In many cases, you are allowed a brief cooling-off period but this isn’t guaranteed. Once the offer is accepted and contracts are signed, you are legally committed and it is too late to make any changes. The good news is that if you have followed all the steps above you will soon be ready to move into your new home knowing there will be no nasty surprises coming your way.

Need more help to figure out how to buy a home? Contact Thorpe Conveyancing today.