Buying a home can be an extremely stressful and draining experience. It is imperative to know the ins and outs, prior to going out there and putting offers on properties.
It’s not uncommon to spend months staying up late looking at properties online and going to open homes every weekend – and yet not make any progress on finding your ideal home.
Real estate expert, Andrew Best, believes that by remembering these 5 tips, you and your family will be closer to buying your first home.
1. Obtain Finance Before You Shop
The importance of organising your finances prior to going to open homes cannot be stressed enough. People often go out in search of their ideal home and make an offer, only to be knocked back later because they didn’t obtained a pre-approval or even review their borrowing capacity with a mortgage broker.
Once you have your budget sorted out and have obtained a solid pre-approval, you will be much more confident when negotiating on a property.
2. Remember To Research And … Location, Location, Location!
Remember that location is key. However look at suburbs that best suit your needs. Will you be buying the home to live in? Or will this be an investment property?
It’s a good idea to drive around the area you are looking at on the weekend. Visit the local coffee shops and parks to get a feel for the community and the speed at which they live. It is also worth checking out the surrounding suburbs too.
Ask any friends or family that live in the area for their opinion, as they have no financial interest and will be able to give you an unbiased opinion of the area. It’s also worth researching the distance the house is from public transport, schools, shops, hospitals and airports, as these are services that may impact travel time and lifestyle for you or your tenants.
Another fantastic way to check out the property’s estimated value is to obtain a property report. Such reports will give you a rough estimate on it’s market value and give you comparable sales in the area. Let the report do much of the running around so you don’t have to. Best of all, it’s free!
3. Be Smart And Take The Emotion Out
Remember that buying your first home is a transaction. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the deal doesn’t work – there are a lot of properties out there on the market.
If possible, it’s a good idea to try and get a private inspection, this will allow you to view the property without the competition around you and will help take the emotion and stress out of your decision.
If you cannot get a private inspection, go to the open home with someone who is not invested financially in the purchase. Sometimes it’s good to have someone that is not emotionally attached to the purchase with you. That way they can point out certain things that you may possibly miss.
If it is an investment purchase, always ask yourself if you could live in the property yourself? If you would not live in the property in the condition it is in, it’s unlikely your tenants will either!
4. Motivated Sellers Want Motivated Buyers
If the seller is motivated to sell, then there is possibly more room for you to negotiate on price than if they were happy to wait for higher offfers. Remember to ask why the owners are selling and if they have to sell. If they are highly motivated then be direct with your negotiating, as they will want the buyer to share their sense of urgency.
Let the agent know you are buying your first home and are ready to buy now. Tell them you are willing to sign contracts immediately. This will create urgency and will motivate the agent to negotiate with the seller to help them close the deal.
5. Stick To Your Budget
Yes, the house might be great and it fits your requirements. But if it’s too expensive, then walk away! Don’t overcommit yourself when buying your first home. There will be other properties out there.
Although your lender may have approved you for a high amount, really sit down and crunch the numbers. Think of the repayments and make sure you can afford them now and not just in the future.
[Andrew Best is a licenced real estate agent, with over 10 years industry experience. He is currently working with Fresh Property Agents.]