PART 2 of a Q & A Advice for First Home Buyers
Let’s keep it real! You have had a conversation and now you have an idea of your borrowing capacity. How exciting! You can now get real with your search and the dream gets that little bit closer. Here are a few clues on what you will want to think about as you venture out into Home Hunter world.
Q. OK, what else do you think I need to consider as I set out on the trail of buying my first home?
A. I would suggest you ask yourself these questions. Where do you work? Play (both socially and physically, your runs or walks)? Eat out? Where do your friends live? Your family? Your gym? If any of these things matter to your decision about ‘WHERE TO BUY’, narrow down a patch in which you can search for your property. Do you need public transport? What type appeals to you? Are you prepared to spend ages in traffic or on buses and trains or do you want to minimise your daily commute? Are you a cyclist and so need access to bikeways?
Life can be hectic so make it easy on yourself and give these things a bit of thought. Spending hours in trains, buses or in cars can eat into your down time. I know what I would rather be doing! Keep in mind that the closer you are to the central business district of your city or town, the greater the likelihood of the value of your new home appreciating. On the flip side, it may cost you a little bit more to be that bit closer to the hub of town.
Other things for you to have a think about: Have you caught the renovation bug from the lifestyle shows? Or are you more practical at this stage and accept your limitations in that regard? This may determine what sort of place you buy. Will you go for a low maintenance new or near new unit or townhouse with minimalist gardens? Or tidy house? Or, will you look for a character home? Or will you take the plunge and buy a ‘renovator’ because you recognise that value often lies in location? A word of warning. Some of those shows may it look frightfully easy and quick. You don’t need a money pit when you buy your first home!
Q. I am nervous about making an offer. Do you have any tips to deal with this?
Some of the things you will need to be aware of are:
Offers are made on a prescribed form consisting of a Government approved document – “The Contract”
This does not constitute a contract until all parties have agreed to and signed off on the terms of the offer. At that point the document is dated and becomes a formal contract.
Once a contract has been dated, your responsibilities as a buyer will kick in.
There will be various warning statements associated with the offer documents based on whether your purchase is a house or unit/townhouse. These will be explained to you at the point of your signing the paperwork.
There can be occasions where multiple offers may be made so you need to understand where you stand in this situation. Ask your agent how they handle this scenario. You want to be clear so that you give yourself the best opportunity of buying your dream.
You will be asked about paying a deposit, the amount and when it is due to be paid.
You need to clarify the terms of your offer eg is it subject to finance approval, subject to a building and pest inspection, subject to any other factors. Just keep in mind, the cleaner your offer, the more likely it will be considered favourably.
You will need to provide details about who will act for you in the conveyancing of the property ie the legal transfer of the property into your name.
With property inspections, ask for referrals to a reputable service. Your agent will undoubtedly have dealt with many different ones and be able to make suggestions. Or maybe a friend or colleague will have a suggestion for you.
Check the document to see if there is a tick against ‘electrical safety switch’ and ‘smoke detectors’. You will then know whether you have to install these items once you gain possession of the property.
Is there a pool on the property? Here in Queensland we now have a ruling relating the currency of pool safety certificates so even if you are buying a small unit and the complex has a pool, it (the complex through its Body Corporate) will need to be in place. Don’t forget that if the said unit or townhouse has its own spa, that too will need a safety certificate.
If you are buying unit or townhouse, you must be given a Body Corporate (BC) Disclosure Statement & Management Statement prior to signing a contract. Simply put, this will give you written confirmation regarding your financial obligations to the Body Corporate and the by-laws. They (BC) are there to provide consistency in the maintenance and management of the community building/s.
There will be time frames that you need to adhere to in fulfilling your obligations to purchase you r new home. Make sure you understand what they are.
Oh, and one more thing, you will need to allow for state duties. Now there will be certain exemptions that first home buyers can qualify for so once again, make sure you find out about your full entitlements.
Lots to think about, isn’t there. Understand that while not every agent works the same way, these are tips that come to you from my working perspective.
Good luck. There can be tiring, frustrating and stressful moments at times but it will also be fun and exciting when something gives you the ‘vibe’. Just think of the reward at the end of all of your efforts. The best advice I can give you is ‘Ask question’, do some research’.
Want to Know More? Check out Our Home Sellers Checklist for getting the best result on the Sale of your home.