House-hunting is always stressful, especially so for first-time buyers worried about making a mistake that could end up costing them a lot of money. However, they can easily take the strain out of the situation by following some basic guidelines.
The first and most important of these is to avoid overbuying, by consulting a bond originator and obtaining proper home loan pre-qualification before you start your home search. This will enable you to set a reasonable target price range and prevent you from wasting time on properties that are beyond your budget. It will also signal to sellers that you are a motivated buyer and ensure that they take your offer to purchase seriously.
Next, it is always a good idea to save a deposit. Tempting as it may be to seek 100% financing, a deposit of 20% or even 10% will definitely improve your chances of being approved for a home loan.
Thirdly, first-time buyers should avoid making an offer to purchase until they have all the relevant information about the property – no matter how much pressure they get from an estate agent or the seller, or how much they fear losing out to another buyer.
You especially need to know what it would cost you to run the property, in terms of insurance, maintenance, city council rates, and service charges, and any levies or special levies that apply. You also need to budget for moving costs and, if applicable, the transfer duty payable on your purchase.
In addition, we suggest, that a first-time buyer should: