Buying a home, whether that is your first or second home, is a big step in your life and it suffices to say that you want to get it right the first time.
There are a number of costs, including stamp duty, insurance, pre-purchase building inspections, and legal costs, as well as the many hidden costs of buying a home, which you must be prepared to pay, so the first tip that real estate agents often give homebuyers is to look for a home that they plan to stay in for several years at least.
And as life is full of surprises, it will also prove advantageous to look for a home that is able to adapt to your future needs, for instance, if you have a baby or one of your ‘boomerang’ children decides to move back for a while after studying at university.
Know your purchasing power
This should always be the first step when searching for the perfect home. Before you get started on your quest, assess your financial situation, find out how much you can afford to borrow, and get pre-approval for a home loan.
Properties with good price tags sell quickly in today’s healthy home buying climate, so having pre-approval for a mortgage has become essential for all homebuyers.
Create a ‘must-have list’
Don’t go overboard with all the things you absolutely ‘must have’ in your new home, but don’t sell yourself short either.
There are some things that you won’t want to go without, and there are also things that you can easily do without, so the trick is to find a good balance between the two. Create a ‘must-have list’, but be prepared to compromise a little.
Here are a few things that should be on your list:
> The minimum number of bedrooms
> The amenities you need nearby
> The location, i.e. the area or suburb
>The minimum/maximum property value
You have to be flexible to a certain extent, but don’t rule out the possibility of making changes to a property either, especially if you’re looking at properties with renovation potential.
Buy a ‘home’ not an investment
When buying a home, and not an investment property, many real estate agents are of the mind that you should be concerned with the ‘home-like’ qualities of a property and not its future resale value.
This means you should look for a property that will be a great place for you to live more so than a property that will provide you with a large sum of money when it comes time to sell.
Can you predict future real estate cycles and the health of the property market five years from now? Seeing that even property experts can’t do so with any degree of success, it suffices to say that you shouldn’t bother with the future in that regard but rather the present, so look for a property that’s well-worth the asking price, one that will make a great home for the foreseeable future.