The number of unknowns involved when buying a house can be daunting for anyone, and this is especially true for those looking for their first house. With the following list we break down some of these aspects to help you with your own process, whether this is your first property purchase or your twenty-first.
1. Look Closely at the Property
This might go without saying, but there are some specific things that you can look for in the property that will save you headaches later on. Look very carefully in the bathrooms, where you can make sure that the baths, sinks, and showers are free from water stains, corrosion, and leaks; all signs of potential long-term issues.
Looking at the ceiling is also crucial to see if there are any “sagging” sections that can indicate water damage which can often be one of the most dangerous and expensive issues to deal with later. In addition, look inside cabinets, especially in wet areas like the laundry for signs of mould or mildew.
Cracking and flaking in the plasterwork is also something to look out for, as are “patch” jobs that can be given away by inconsistent paint matching.
2. Know Your Budget
Having a budget is not optional when you are buying a house. Furthermore, it is definitely worth your while to spend some time calculating this properly; budgeting is not a step that you want to take shortcuts on. Working with a professional financial planner is often the best way to make sure you accurately figure out how much money is coming in, and how much will be going out.
3. Understand Interest Rates
Understanding interest rates and their relationship to lending rates is crucial before you buy a home. The Reserve Bank of Australia sets the official cash rate for the country at a meeting every month. Banks and other lenders then use the cash rate to price the interest rates on their loans. Banks are businesses, so their lending rates are higher than the cash rate, because they also need to make a profit on money they lend. Lenders offer different rates in order to get market share, so just like your weekly groceries, it pays to keep track of interest rate movements and to shop around for different lenders.
4. Beware of Falling in Love
Buying a home is an emotional process, but do not ever forget that it will also be the largest financial transaction of your life. You should fall in love with your home, but try not to let it happen before you buy it. The fastest way to fall out of love with a home is to bring financial stress into it each day, and that can be avoided if you make a logical, well-planned decision at the outset.
5. Work With the Professionals
Whether it is initial budgeting or the final paperwork, working with professionals can make the whole process simpler, less stressful, and more enjoyable. At BTF Lawyers, we can help you through all of the legal requirements that come with buying a new home. There are a wide range of rules and regulations that apply to property transfers that you may have never heard of, but that we have helped dozens of clients with over our many years of experience.
We can use that experience and knowledge to help give you the best experience possible when you choose to buy your next home, so feel free to give us a call or get in contact through our website.