Buying a home is a daunting task, especially when it’s your very first one. You’re anxious to move in and get things going but have you thought through everything?
There’s a lot to buying a home and if you’re new to buying, you might be oblivious to just how much it involves.
From hiring a property inspector or a property maintenance professional, to all the financial work involved, there’s a lot to think about.
It’s important to look for some advice for first time home buyers as this will help you to better understand what’s involved in buying your first home.
So, here are six first time home buyer tips to help you in your buying journey.
It’s better to use an Estate Agent
Estate agents are there to be the neutral party during a house showing. They use an ethic approach to ensure the needs of both the buyer and seller are met.
There are many reasons why it is better to have an estate agent than to view a house on your own.
For starters, you will need to provide a lot of financial information and estate agents are bound by their ‘fiduciary’ duties to keep this information secure, whereas a FSBO seller (For Sale By Owner) isn’t required to do any safekeeping of your sensitive financial information.
Having an agent is also important as they will know if what the seller’s agent is requesting from you is legitimate and fair or not.
Always get an inspection
After finding the perfect property, getting your offer accepted and signing the contract, you may be eager to rush in and close the sale.
But hold on – do you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into?
Some houses may look fine on the outside but actually harbour problems that have the potential to cost a lot of money to correct.
It’s better to play it safe and hire someone to inspect your property – in fact, some mortgage lenders will demand that you do.
Neglect this and you may be stuck with a property that needs a lot of unexpected expensive repairs.
Another helpful piece of advice for first time home buyers is not to fully trust pictures of the property on the internet. This sounds obvious but is still something to keep in mind.
Get estimates for work BEFORE you sign
So, you’ve found a great property, but think you could improve it with some building works – sounds easy, just sign the contract and then start planning your changes once it’s yours, right?
Not so fast – you might find you run into a bit of a brick wall (no pun intended).
It’s always best to hire a contractor or builder to go through the plans with you first, BEFORE signing on the dotted line, as you might find that your plans to knock through a wall will cost more than you had imagined – or can’t be done at all.
Work permits take a while
Still on the subject of building work, it’s important to remember that permits for work can take a while to come through – sometimes a few weeks or longer.
In addition to this, you can only apply for a permit once you’re the owner of the new property, meaning you can’t do it in advance.
So before hiring a builder in anticipation, remember that you should wait for the permits to come through first.
Know what you’re looking for
This sounds obvious, but a lot of first-time buyers aren’t sure what they should be looking for in a home, more focused on getting something decent for a good price. But what exactly counts as decent?
Things to consider for a new home would include:
- Storage: depending on how many people live there and what kind of items would be stored in the home, this is very important
- Plumbing and drainage: a house that floods when it rains heavily or constantly has pipework problems is far from what you need as a first-time buyer. Upon inspection, pay attention to any faults or potential headaches that could arise as a result of drainage and plumbing.
- Sound proofing: it’s not something a lot of home buyers consider, but think about it; do you really want to hear what everyone in the property is doing all the time, or hear everything your neighbours next door are doing?
- Electrics: are there enough plug sockets and are they in good locations? Think about what re-arranging for the future you might have to do and factor in whether you’d need to re-wire the property to accommodate this.
Know your credit score
You should know your credit score as this will help you find out which kind of mortgage to apply for.
Knowing your credit score in advance will ensure that you have the time to correct any inaccuracies in the mortgage agreement, meaning you save yourself time when it comes to buying the property.
Usually, 6 months in advance is a good time as this will leave ample time for such amendments.
Buying a house is a multi-factored and complex adventure, so it’s always best to get some useful first time home buyer tips before you start rushing ahead in excitement.
Just remember, all the precautions and time spent on it will be worth it when you’ve finally got your feet up!