Buying your first home can be stressful. Taking that first step onto the property ladder is probably one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make. But if you do your homework and properly prepare yourself, it needn’t be as frightening as you expect. If you’re tired of renting and you think that buying a home is the right thing for you, take a look at our step-by-step guide for first home-buyers.
Decide if buying is right for you
Financial planners warn that home ownership is not for everyone. In some cases, it may make more financial sense to put off your purchase and continue to rent for a year or two. This is particularly relevant if you’re planning to move to a new area in the not too distant future – it can take several years to recoup the costs associated with buying a home. So if you are planning to move, it makes more sense to hold off buying until you settle in your new area.
Check your credit
Your credit rating is vital when it comes to applying for a mortgage. How well you handle credit has a direct impact on your ability to borrow and the interest rate your lender will charge you. So check that your credit rating is good and sort out any issues before you start shopping around for a home loan. Pay off any credit card or HP debt, and ensure you are meeting your payments on time.
When researching your options for a mortgage, it pays to shop around both bank and non-bank lenders to find the deal that’s right for you. Talk to a Mortgage Express adviser about your options so you know how much you have to spend before you even start looking for your first home. Getting pre-approval up front means you have an advantage over other buyers who may still need to go through the mortgage application process. It also means you have time to find a financial package that meets your specific needs and you’re not rushed into accepting the first mortgage you’re offered.
Know your limit
When deciding on your buying budget, be sure to factor in any costs associated with buying and moving. That could include upfront costs, insurance, tax or moving costs. Know how much you can realistically afford before you even start looking at homes to buy.
Make a list of must-haves
You probably already have a list of things you simply can’t do without in your new home. Given the rapidly rising cost of property, you may need to take a realistic approach and opt for a much smaller and more economical home to start with, in order to get a foot onto the property ladder. Decide which of your must-haves are deal-breakers and which you’re prepared to compromise on.
Prepare for the ups and downs
First home buying (and second and third!) is an emotional process. The reality of attending auctions and open homes, finding your dream home, making an offer only for it to be snapped up by someone else, can be emotionally exhausting. Even after a contract is signed, there could be issues which can delay your settlement date or even cause the deal to fall through.
Get ready to buy your first home
Buying your first home takes stamina, desire and ongoing commitment. If you’ve dreamed about buying your first home, but you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with a Mortgage Express adviser today. We’ll help you plan ahead, shop around for the best deal on your behalf, and keep you updated every step of the way through the home buying process.