Buying your first house is a huge step, and it is only natural to be excited about it. However, when it comes to such significant (and costly) changes in your life, you need to put your emotions aside and look at things rationally. Unlike a visit to a mall, a house purchase should never be an impulse buy. You need to arm yourself with facts, research and professional advisors. The following tips will help you safely start your way to a real estate owner title.

Establish a budget

While your heart can desire a two-story five-bedroom establishment, your wallet could beg to differ. That’s why you need to sit down, calculate how much money you have on disposal, your monthly incomes, as well as check other financing options, such as government aid (first home buyer programs) or bank loan. You should also take your monthly costs into account, and see how much money you have left to spend on your mortgage after you pay the bills. While saving money is an option, you still need to be real about how much you can save, and once you establish a figure, you should use it as a basic guideline in house hunting.

Set a priority list

Unless you are operating on an unlimited budget, you will have to make some compromises. The most important thing is to set a clear boundary between ‘wants’ and ‘needs.’ You probably do need the number of bedrooms you’ve set your mind on having, but do you really need an outdoor pool? Create a checklist that will include both of these aspects, but don’t forget to include outside-the-property factors, such as the school system, neighborhood and commute.

Find a good real estate agent

The choice of a real estate agent is vital for a successful purchase, especially for first-time home buyers. The right agent is someone you can trust to guide you through the complicated world of property buying. Many agents specialize in certain types of the property or areas of the city, so it would be a good idea to ask prospective agents about their expertise and certification.

Choose the type of the property

Your real estate agent will probably want you to narrow down your list by deciding for one or couple of house types. To make that choice, you will need to include your family’s needs, as well as your preferences when it comes to design and architectural style. You can choose between various types, such as single-family home, duplex, cottage, a townhouse, etc. In larger cities in Australia and the U.S. where the population is constantly growing, building a house has become a popular option. This has its perks because many home builders in Sydney allow you to customize your property to the fullest, and you can choose your preferred type of house and architectural style.

Understand how to negotiate

If you have finally found the house of your dreams (or the builder who will construct it), you are ready to master the tricks and enigmas of the negotiation process. But first, you need to familiarize yourself with the asking price, the price of the houses in the neighborhood, the time that the house has been on the market, and the number of listed properties in the community. Your real estate agent can help you manage your expectations, by giving you a reasonable price range to work around. Make sure your offer includes property inspection and financing.

Get the property inspected

While your new house may look picture-perfect on the outside, you can’t know what’s happening on the inside until you get it inspected. If you don’t, who knows what you may end up with: termites, leaking pipes, unsecured foundation… The inspection should include checking the walls, the floors, the basement, the attic, the pipework and the insulation. When selecting a property inspector, check for their certifications.

Understand the contract

You are only a few signatures away from owning your home. Don’t let the excitement overwhelm you. Before you sign anything, ask your agent to draft a copy of every document to preview, a couple of days before the closing date. If you are struggling to understand the contract, ask your agent or a legal advisor to clarify it for you.

Use these tips to make a sound home purchase decision, because it is something you will have to live with for years, and possibly even for the rest of your life.


Published by Emma Lawson