Buying first home
In the summer of 2015, my wife and I brought our first home. As a first-time home buyer, I knew we needed to spend a considerable amount of time researching our purchase. So that’s exactly what we did – we read as much as we could, brought books, educated ourselves on the local real estate market, and explored every aspect of the home buying process. But even then, we still made a few mistakes. Although we are still happy with our overall purchase, there are definitely a few things I wish we had done differently. A great overall source of information is http://www.australia.for-sale.com, you can get second hand books on buying your first home, find houses for sale and also get great deals on second hand furniture.
Now, you learn by your mistakes, but purchasing a house is an expensive exercise, and mistakes can be very costly. I wanted to share some of our mistakes and other things we’ve learned since we bought our house, in case they might prove helpful to someone else going through the home buying process. Looking back on my own experience, here are some tips I’d recommend to any first-time home buyer:
The earlier you start saving for that down payment, the easier it will be.
If you want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance, in most cases you need to save up at least 20% of your future home’s value to use as a down payment. That’s easier said than done, but it becomes a much more realistic concept if you start saving right away. Even if you aren’t ready to buy in the foreseeable future, you can put yourself in a better position by stashing $50 or $100 per month into a new home fund.
Because my wife became pregnancy, we were rushed into our home purchase. With a baby on the way, we knew our apartment would soon be too small. Although I’m happy with our home purchase, I wish we hadn’t rushed it so much.
The easiest way to get the best mortgage rates is to shop around as much as you can. A good mortgage broker is a great investment of time as they know the market and can give you the best advice. Knowledge is key and there is a wealth of knowledge online. I’ve found some pretty useful housing advice at Independence Australia and a good government site is Moneysmart. Saving just a half a percentage point on an average-priced home could lead to tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the years.
During the home inspection process, we thought we did everything right. We followed the home inspector through every room, but we forgot to check each room on our own or with a third person. Unfortunately, in our case, our failure to explore the entire property meant that we overlooked an extremely old and almost unusable heating system. We’ve since replaced it, but we might have been able to ask the seller for credit. The bottom line – always inspect the home on your own and pay attention to the details.
When you’ve found the house of your dreams, make sure you have someone check it out. Love can make you blind, and when you fall in love with your perfect home, you will put on your love goggles and not notice, what maybe a vital issue.
Additional expenses can creep up on you. When you’re a first-time home buyer, it’s easy to forget that your new home will bring with it a whole new set of expenses you’ve never had to worry about before. So before you go on a furniture shopping spree, take some time to figure out what your new budget might look like, and what you actually need for your new home. If you take some time and shop around enough, you might even find an awesome furniture sale or liquidation, or discover some used furniture that suits your needs perfectly. Don’t rush into a furniture purchase. You have plenty of time, so use it.
Location, location, location
When you buy your first home, the whole process feels daunting. The number-one thing you can’t change about a house is its location, so remember: When you buy a home, you’re not just buying a house, you’re buying the neighborhood. Explore the surrounding area before you submit an offer and fully commit to the purchase.
Your home will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make. That’s why it’s important to research every aspect of the home buying process – and make sure you do things right from the start.
Once you have your wonderful home, you should always keep in mind things that will improve the value of the house. Check out my previous article on how to add value to your home. I have written a separate piece about that on the blog that you can find here:
Enjoy the process guys and I hope you continue to enjoy my blog.