You are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars when you purchase a house. When it is your first time, the task seemed especially daunting. It’s tempting to just purchase the first house you see that you like. As a first-time home buyer there are a lot of things for you to consider in order to minimise your investment risk. You need to know what the requirements are for first-home buyers and what to expect during the buying process.
Here are some things first home buyers need to know to prepare them mentally, emotionally and financially for the buying process:
Important factors to consider
These are the things you need to consider when purchasing your first home to ensure that you are making the right decisions.
Lifestyle – Ask yourself these questions to help you find the home that best fits you. How do you live day to day? What are your future plans? Are you going to upsize or downsize in a few years? Do you want your home to be located close to amenities and services? How far from schools or shops are you willing to live?
Financial situation – Calculate the total amount of your repayments and related costs before taking the plunge. Save as much as you can for your deposit to reduce your monthly mortgage payments as much as possible. When calculating how much to borrow, estimate your current expenses, potential mortgage repayments and related costs such as water and council rates, and determine if your income can fully cover all these expenses.
Moderate your expectations – Getting into the property market is already an accomplishment, so don’t be frustrated or discouraged if the house you’ve been dreaming about is out of your reach. You would probably be one of those many people who purchase not just one house in their lifetime.
Do your research – Find out important facts about the property such as how much it was sold earlier, what changes had been made to it, what type of zoning it is covered by, etc. Check from the council whether there are major developments planned for the surrounding areas that could affect the value of your property. It also doesn’t hurt to be updated on the local news affecting the area where your property is located.
Grants available to Australian first-home buyers
There are several financial assistance products available when you purchase your first home.
First home buyers grant – Eligible first home buyers can avail of a grant when they buy or build their new home that will be used as their primary place of resident.
REBA $2,000 home buyers assistance – Eligible home buyers are entitled to a grant of up to $2,000 for the related costs of buying their first home, whether established or partially built, made through a certified real estate agent. The highest purchase price requirement for the Home Buyers Assistance Account (HBAA) is $400,000.
First home super savers (FHSS) scheme – With the closing of the First Home Save Accounts, the Federal Government launched FHS, which allows first home buyers to save for their deposit within their super fund.
Stamp duty concessions – Stamp duty is part of what you pay when buying residential property. Those who are eligible for the First Home Owner Grant can also claim a concessional rate of transfer duty if the dutiable value of the residential property and land is up to $530,000 or $400,000 for empty land.
Steps for Purchasing a Home
You have to know what to expect from the home buying process if you have decided to go ahead with it. Preparation is the key to avoiding hassles, stresses and delays that might derail the entire transaction. Here are the basic steps you can expect from the buying process:
Find a home – There are many ways for you to find what properties are for sale, including listings from real estate agents, online listings, and even driving to areas where you desire to live. Friends, family and corporate connections can also let you know if a property that may interest you goes up for sale.
Secure financing – But not before checking what type of home loans as well as first home buyer grants are available to you. Do your research and shop around because because your mortgage interest rate will heavily impact the final amount you will pay for your home.
Make an offer – Your offer will be presented to the seller’s agent by your real estate agent, who will also help you come up with the amount of the offer. Once your offer is accepted, the legal process of buying property has now started, including providing a good-faith deposit and the shift into escrow.
Get a home inspection – Have an experienced professional inspect the property you are buying even if it appears perfect. Knowing the overall condition of the property helps you in the negotiation process and gives you a sense of security knowing you’d be making the right decision for your prospective investment.
Finalise transaction or move on – It’s time to close the deal if all went well with the seller, or if the inspection didn’t find any major problem in the property. If it is the opposite, then move on to another better-suited property for you.
Things are not quite over even after you have closed the deal and you have moved all your belongings to your new place.
It is important to learn the buying process beforehand to lessen the stress as you’re going through with it and to help you get that dream house at a price that you can afford.