You have saved your deposit and are now wondering how to go about finding your new home or investment property? Here are our tips to help you along the way:
A budget is going to be different for everyone looking at buying a house, so there’s really not a specific number of what you need to buy a house or pay a mortgage. However, a relatively standard goal is to try to keep your mortgage payment (with stamp duty taxes and insurance included) to around 25% of your total household monthly income. It is important you have looked at your overall monthly budget to see what you really can afford and then only look at houses within your price range. Just because the bank says you can have X amount, doesn’t mean you should accept it.
When we were looking at buying our first home over ten years ago, the bank offered us well over $100,000 more than we could afford to repay at the time. Will you be able to afford the repayments in a year, two years or five years? What if interest rates rise? Your circumstances change? I.e. you have children etc.
- Pick an area to suit your needs
This is an important factor in buying a home. It is critical that you find an area that suits your needs before buying. Are you willing to travel long distances to and from work? Maybe you want to be in an area close to family, cafes, shops and/or schools? Or even near the beach? I always advise visiting the area a few times to get a feel for it before you commit.
- Key Features
How many bedrooms would you like and you actually need? Living areas? Outdoor space? Do you want an ensuite? Large kitchen? Media room? Write a list of features you would like your dream home to have.
- Build or buy an existing home
There are pros and cons to building a home or buying an existing home. There are a lot of extras you might not think of when building a new home; such as flooring (this is usually not included in the cost of an off the plan home), lighting, window furnishings, TV antennae, clothes line, fencing and landscaping. With an existing home, you may need to change a few things to suit your taste.
Generally, you will find a lot of existing homes are set on bigger blocks than new housing estates. We found this out when we bought our current home. We were going to build an off the plan builder but found that the blocks were just too small for our family of five and two dogs. With the house size we needed, it would have left two metres off the back of the house and one metre along the sides. Definitely not enough yard space for us. We did find an existing home in the same suburb. The house was built by a quality, well-known builder. The house is bigger than the house we were going to build (it has two extra living spaces), a good size outdoor entertainment area and yard with a side gate entrance. We bought our house for less than what we were going to build the smaller house for and in a well sought after estate. Close to shops, a café and walking distance to the boy’s school.
Of course, now that you know what you can afford, where you want to live and what you want/ need in a house, you can start searching for your dream home. You can do so without even leaving your home. The internet has millions of house listings and sites such as Homesales.com.au feature properties right across Australia.
Homesales offers buyers home loan calculators to work out how much you would be able to loan and how much the repayments would be, plus the facility to search thousands of homes via an easy to use search engine. Just enter the town or suburb you are looking in, how many bedrooms you are looking for and the price range you want to buy in. Easy! You are then shown properties with your particular needs in mind without having to go all over town looking in real estate agents windows or having to talk to any real estate agents.
We hope we have helped you with your home buying adventure. Good luck!