As a seasoned renter, you may be used to a fully furnished apartment with all of your bills included in your rent, not being able to decorate your humble abode to your own tastes and constant worries about staining the soft furnishings.
When you take the plunge and decide to break away from the world of renting and make a foray into the land of home ownership, these concerns melt away to be replaced with new ones. Sure, you can paint your walls whatever hue of purple you want, but how are you going to secure your first home in the first place? As a total home buying novice, you have no idea how to go about navigating the housing market, finding the home you love and putting in an offer.
You may have a vision of what your first home looks like. You might want white picket fences, three large bedrooms, a swanky designer kitchen, acres of outside space and all of this in a lovely suburb. The chances are that with your first-time buyer budget you’ll have to make do with something a little more modest to see you on the first rung of the housing ladder.
Remember, your first home will not be your forever home; it is a stepping stone to a future dream property. Take a look at these hints to help you see the wood for the trees when meandering your way through the housing market.
Legal Stuff And Finances
Before you even start heading online to research the available properties in your chosen area, you need to sort out your finances. The chances are that you’ll need a home loan or mortgage to help you fund your purchase alongside your deposit.
Many home loan lenders have stringent criteria especially those that offer the best rates so ensure that you have all of your financial ducks in a row. Don’t venture into your overdraft, make your regular monthly repayments to credit cards or loans on time and try to clear your debts as much as possible. Mortgage lenders need to see that you are a responsible borrower and that you don’t forfeit on any of your financial obligations.
When your funding is sorted, you should seek the services of a property lawyer. Ask friends and family who have had experience purchasing property who they would recommend. Word of mouth feedback is much more accurate to go on than any online reviews you might find.
The Exciting Part
When you are ready to view properties with your finances and lawyer in place, you are showing vendors and real estate agents that you are ready to go and serious about buying a property. It can be hard to know what you’re actually looking for in your first home. If you’re unsure, view as many different types of property as possible and gauge the sort of lifestyle you could enjoy in each of the different home types.
The most important aspect to house viewings is not to be seduced by the decor or interior. You may end up paying a premium just because someone has painted the interior walls white and has some on-trend vintage pieces of furniture in their living room to dress the space that they are taking with them anyway.
Look beyond the facade and focus on the structure of the building. Does the property have a decent roof or is it bowing? Are there patches of damp within the home and does it smell musty? Is there any exposed wiring that looks unsafe within the property? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, you might be tempted to run a mile.
However, choosing to purchase a home with problems that need rectifying could lead to you putting in a lower offer and picking up a bargain. All you need to do is to get some professionals in like ABC Home & Commercial to assess the quality of the plumbing, electrics, and heating within the home and provide you with a quote for any works that need carrying out. This will allow you to alter your offer accordingly.
Think about the square footage of the property you need. You don’t want to make do with a shoebox dwelling if you will outgrow the space within weeks. At the same time, you don’t want every room to have an echo because you’ve purchased a dwelling too large for your needs.
It can be hard to find the right balance, but you need to do some adequate future proofing. If you are considering starting a family within a couple of years, that one-bed studio apartment in the center of town might not be too healthy a proposition. However, a three-bed condo in the suburbs with good schools and decent outside space might be just what you’re looking for.
Think about the lifestyle you want and the non-negotiables of your new property. Do you need to be close to family? What is the longest commute to work you would consider? Do you need a garden? By answering these sorts of questions, you’ll be able to whittle down your potential property choices.
As you view more homes, you’ll become more nuanced in your requirements. It’s not unheard of for some people to purchase the first home they see that they love. There’s nothing wrong with this. Many property experts suggest that you’ll decide within the first seven seconds of entering a home whether it is a contender. If you love it and the money is right, buy it.
Navigating your way through the property market as a first-time buyer requires resilience and focus. You may lose out on a property or two and this can be devastating when you’ve set your heart on a home and can visualize yourself living there.
This happens to many people and won’t prevent you from finding the home you will love and cherish and make many memories in before you move on to your second, and maybe your dream property.