Whether you’re a sixty-something single or a loved-up couple in your mid-twenties, buying your first home is a momentous and exciting event.
Your home will likely be the biggest asset you—with your lender—ever own; a source of pride that brings both rights and responsibilities.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of traps for young players in the home buying market.
That’s why we’ve brought you our top tips to take the hassle out of buying your first home.
Buying your first home: Consult with professionals
When they discover you are in the market for your first home, you will receive lots of well-meant advice from your family and friends.
The problem is that you won’t be able to tell what is well informed from what is opinion, hearsay, or just plain wrong.
Seeking the advice of experienced professionals is the best way to achieve the optimum outcome from your home buying experience.
As well as an experienced local real estate agent, consulting a professional financial adviser, mortgage broker, conveyancer and building inspector will ensure that you have access to accurate, current information and avoid pitfalls you might otherwise encounter.
Buying your first home: Modest is a great place to start
It’s easy to get carried away when you look at beautiful properties, but remember, you’re buying your first home, not your dream home.
If you work hard to pay down your mortgage and improve your new home, you will have lots of opportunities in the future to trade up to a home that is bigger, more prestigious, in a nicer area, or on a larger block.
An old adage says you should buy the worst house in the best street. There is some merit to this thinking, as it is a way to move into a desirable neighbourhood that would otherwise be beyond your reach.
If you spend money over time making your worst house a better house, you will be able to recoup it when you sell because of the attraction of the neighbourhood.
First and foremost, you should aim to buy a comfortable home that you can comfortably afford.
Buying your first home: Don’t overcommit
Buying a first home that you really can afford means not overcommitting for your current resources and allowing for unexpected changes in circumstances such as redundancy, pregnancy, or serious illness or injury.
To do that, professional financial advice is of enormous value.
Your financial adviser can help you calculate what you can afford to spend, explain the pros and cons of various lending products, and recommend appropriate income insurance to protect your mortgage repayments.
Buying your first home: Budget for everything
First-home buyers are often shocked by all the costs they will incur (see this article for the fees and charges involved).
Unless you have your own, furniture is another item for which you will need to budget.
Again, you can start out modestly with basic essentials and improve on or add to them as funds permit.
You also need to budget for periodic expenses such as rates, home and contents insurance, electricity, telephone, internet and pay TV.
Buying your first home: First Home Owner Grant eligibility
Since 1 July 2014, the state government’s First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) has applied only to new (not established) residential properties.
If you are considering buying a brand-new home or constructing one, be sure to familiarise yourself with the terms of the grant before you count on those funds.
Buying your first home: We want to hold your hand
With more than forty-five years’ experience selling homes in Adelaide’s coastal and western suburbs, McGrath Real Estate at Glenelg, has helped a great many first-time homebuyers get their start on the property ladder (and climb the rungs over subsequent years).
You can count on our experienced agents to demystify the process for you and help you buy a home you love and can afford.
We’d love to share with you in this exciting adventure you’re about to undertake.