It is always best to establish how much you can afford to spend on your new home. Talk to your bank. Whether it is a mortgage broker or your bank manager, make sure you do your homework before you go and see them. Banks will want to know what you currently earn and a budget of what you currently spend. They will want to know that there is enough of a difference to be able to service your loan.
What Do You Want? … Use Your Sales Agents
You would be surprised how many people buy the first property they look at with a real estate agent. You don’t always have to look at 40+ properties to find one that suits your needs… if you have already narrowed down what you need. You can save a lot of time by sitting down with your real estate agent and talking about your requirements. A good agent will listen and then may ask about some criteria that you may not have thought about. Tell them which of your criteria have some flexibility and which don’t. They will then go to work for you to find what properties on the market or, in some cases, soon to be on the market may meet your needs. Your agent is a real estate expert…make the most of their expertise.
- When looking through a potential home take your time.
- Pause at the gate and take in the first impression.
- As you walk through the home try to imagine what it would look like with your furniture in it. Would it fit?
- Sit down in the living areas and have a good look around…at everything. Ceilings, light fittings, floors, views.
- Calculate where the sun will come from in winter and summer.
- Walk right around the exterior of the house.
- Think about what maintenance needs to be done and whether you can do it or do you need to budget to get a professional in.
- Ask about proximity to local schools and bus routes.
If you are interested in a property it may be time to get some professional involved. Get a LIM from the local council. Land Information Memoranda (LIM) are comprehensive reports containing all relevant information the Council knows about a property or section. This can include what structures have or haven’t been approved and signed off by the council or potential developments planned for nearby. No one wants to move in the day construction on the new motorway begins just over the fence. Get a builder in to do a proper inspection. Walk through the property with them. Ask any questions you want. They know what can be done cheaply and what may need to be budgeted. They’ll know what can be easily changed and what can’t.
Ask, ask, ask…
Your agent has a lot of training and experience in the residential property market. Don’t be afraid to supplement these few buying tips by asking questions, lots of them. Your agent wants you to buy a home you will be happy with just as much as you do.