When you’re buying a home there’s a lot to think about, but it doesn’t need to be stressful. These tips can help steer you in the right direction if you’re considering purchasing a property.
- WORK OUT YOUR BUDGET – How much can you spend?
Determining your budget is critical. A Mortgage Calculator can be a useful tool to help turn your dreams into reality. Speaking with a bank or mortgage broker to gain pre-approval is well worth the effort and helps you plan for your purchase. This knowledge may create greater bargaining power and also gives you an understanding of loan set up costs, stamp duty and legal fees etc.
You may even be eligible for government incentives as a first home buyer!
- PROPERTY FEATURES – What do you need in a home?
Compiling a list of key features that you need in a home in order of preference will be beneficial when determining the perfect property for you such as;
How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
Would you like a new or established home?
Would you like a large or small backyard?
Would you like small or large acreage?
Do you need a carport or garage?
Would you like a pool? Or space to build a pool?
Would you like a highset or lowset home?
- CHOOSE AND RESEARCH YOUR PREFERRED AREA – Where do you want to live?
This is a huge question and one that is specific to you and you alone. Spend some time researching the area and its local facilities such as medical centres, hospitals, shopping centres, schools, recreation and other amenities which are important to you. Check if there is town water and sewerage. Make sure the town is right for you. Walk around, grab a coffee or a meal at the local pub. Pretend you’re already living there and see if the atmosphere lives up to your expectations. Talk to locals to get residents views on the area and the best streets to live in. Read local community publications, social media and newspapers. Your real estate agent can prove to be quite valuable in this decision and can help you shortlist properties that fit your list of criteria and budget.
- PROPERTY INSPECTIONS – The fun part!
Meet with your Agent to view the properties you have shortlisted. You should feel comfortable with your Agent, they will not only help you find the right property for you and negotiate with the seller, they will also eliminate some of the stress in a stressful time.
As soon as you enter the home you are you considering buying, you will get an immediate emotional response – negative or positive. While its easy to walk away when you get a negative vibe from a property, its much harder to do when the feeling is positive. A positive emotional response can be very guiding but it’s important not to get too invested in emotion before checking for faults with the property.
Things to consider and look for when inspecting a property are:
Inside the Property
- Check for signs of rising damp, such as rotting carpet or mould on the walls and ceiling
- Check the walls and ceilings for warps, cracks and any obvious damage;
- Test all light switches
- Check doors and windows close smoothly
- Test the water pressure in hot and cold taps and check to see that water drains well - slow flowing water may indicate blocked drains.
Outside the Property
- Inspect fences for stability and any obvious faults
- Check for large trees around the house as these may have large root systems that can cause structural problems
- Check that the land’s water run-off is adequate and drains away from the dwelling
- Water staining on the eaves may indicate damaged or blocked gutters
- Look at the roof for any broken tiles or rusted steel
- If the property has a pool, check the sellers are supplying a Pool Safety Certificate
- Check if the dwelling has Council Approval
- Check if sheds and garages on the property have Council Approval
- Check if the property has town water and sewerage
Your Agent will provide you with marketing material for each property you are viewing. Take a pen and make notes as you go along. List any key features that spike your interest and things that don’t so you can refer to this later when making your decision.
- CHOOSING YOUR NEW HOME & MAKING AN OFFER
So, you have been on inspection and one property stood out from the crowd, one property just “Felt like home” and ticked all the boxes. What do you do next?
It is time to make an offer!!
By now you will know your budget
You will know the inclusions of the property
Let your Agent know;
- The price you wish to offer
- If you are getting finance, advise of a finance period. 14 or 21 days from the contract date is usually sufficient.
- If you require a building and pest inspection, allow 14 days from the contract date for a pest and building inspector to attend.
- The deposit amount. This amount will be required upon signing of the contract.
- Settlement date/time frame. This is usually 2-3 weeks after contract conditions have been satisfied.
Remember to ask the agent if there are any special conditions the vendor wants to place on the sale, such as an extended settlement due to their next residence not being available.
Most contracts can be completed with 30-35 days from signing, to when you collect the keys and begin moving to your new home!
- OFFER ACCEPTED - TIME TO GO TO CONTRACT
The Agent will require;
- Your full name, address, phone number and email address
- Details of your conveyancer or Solicitor of choice to handle the property purchase. It is recommended that you use a Queensland Conveyancer or Solicitor. Conveyancing will incur costs such as searches of titles, rates, zoning, transfer duty, registration fees and standard professional services costs. Most of these searches are standard in the conveyancing process but are often overlooked when buyers elect to do the conveyancing themselves.
- Purchase Price
- Special conditions of the sale
- Date of settlement
If you’ve purchased through private treaty you will have a cooling off period of 5 business days. This period is not available when the sale is made by Auction. During this period, you can cancel the sale if you change your mind, but you may be required to pay a penalty.
We highly recommend getting a cover note from your insurance company to insure the property.
Once the contract has been prepared and your solicitor has reviewed the contract you are ready to sign and secure your property.
When the contract is signed by both parties and dated, it is then time for banks, solicitors and yourself to get things rolling and work towards satisfying contract conditions and preparing for settlement.
Before you know it, settlement day will be here and you will be moving into your very own home…..CONGRATULATIONS!!!