Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, particularly if you are a first time home buyer. From deciding what you are looking for in a property to securing that all-important home loan, the conveyancing process can seem overwhelming. Here's what you need to know about purchasing a new home and entering the real estate market for the first time.
Find out if you qualify for a government grant
The government is keen to help you get on the property ladder. As a first time home buyer, you may be eligible for help such as First Home Buyers Assistance or a First Home Owner Grant. These grants can help you save money on duties and fees and are designed to make first time home buying a little easier.
Be honest about your finances
As well as taking advantage of any assistance you are eligible for, you need to make sure you're clear on how much money you can borrow from the bank for your home loan.
Loan eligibility depends on a number of factors, including income and expenditure, regularity of earnings, your existing assets and your savings record. Banks will consider all of your financial circumstances when deciding on your loan - be realistic about what you can afford, and reduce your debts as much as possible before looking for a home loan.
Consider your location carefully
You've secured a home loan, and you know what you can afford. Now, it's time to consider where you can stay - and what kind of property you will get for your money.
Real estate agents, newspapers, magazines and online advertisements can all help you narrow down your property search. You should make local real estate agents aware of what you're looking for - but don't forget to do your own research, too.
You want to make sure you'll be happy in the area your new home is located. Take a look around the neighbourhood at different times of day, and on both weekdays and weekends. Get a feel for the area and see if it seems 'right' for you.
Understand the condition of the property
It's often difficult to identify problems with a property unless you know what you're looking for. Your conveyancer or real estate agent can help you arrange home inspections to check everything from structural viability to pest problems - although they may seem costly, you really can't afford to forego the right inspections.
If you are purchasing a strata unit, you need to be aware of any restrictions, land issues or ownership problems affecting your lot and/or the common property. A strata report is essential.
Don't attempt the conveyancing process yourself
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of property ownership from one person to another. Once you're happy with a property and have made an offer, you need a qualified solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal side of things - and make any negotiations on your behalf. This is a complex process with many possible pitfalls, so we do not recommend you ever try to complete the conveyancing process on your own.
Ready to purchase your first home? Download our free ebook, "Buying a House - the Easy Guide to Conveyancing" for more detailed information and advice as to how our conveyancing experts can help you.