As someone looking to buy a house for the first time, it can be challenging to know exactly what you should be doing. If you are one of the many people who are considering buying their first home, it is vital to know that there is much more to this process than just walking into your favorite real estate office and selecting whichever house catches your eye. When it comes to this process, there are many things you need to consider before making this massive life decision and this article will provide some useful tips if you’re considering buying your first home.
Use an agent
The first very handy tip is to hire a real estate agent to help you find and secure your dream home. House hunting might seem fun and simple enough however the process is a lot more complicated than it appears. Every homebuyer has a checklist when house hunting. Things such as location, proximity, price, etc are all to be considered and an agent will be able to find you a home that meets every requirement. A good agent will not only search the market for you, which saves you time and effort but they will also guide you through the negotiation and closing process. Agents can get referrals from other agents and in most cases, they have access to homes that are not listed on the market. The best real estate agencies have teams in different areas and an extensive understanding of all districts, such as Miller Metcalfe. At the end of the day, agents are experts in this field and if anyone is going to find you the perfect home, it will be a real estate agent.
Check for defects
When purchasing a house, the seller has an obligation to inform you of any defects on the property however, some don’t. Defects aren’t always noticeable so it is vital to observe properly. Keep your eyes out for things such as damaged plumbing, structural weaknesses, and water damage. Recognizing defects can impact the selling price however if they are not recognized and the house gets sold, the seller is no longer liable to fix any damage which means that you will end up paying more because of maintenance. A good investment is to pay for a home inspection. This will ensure that the house receives a thorough inspection where potential problems can be spotted which allows you to make more informed decisions about buying the property.
As a home buyer, you need to know that the home itself is not the only expense. You need to ensure that you are aware of hidden costs. Apart from the deposit, there are other hidden costs that you must consider such as:
- Bond registration fees
- Transfer duties
- If you’re buying a sectional title you will have special levies.
Also, keep in mind the potential cost of rates and taxes on top of your monthly bond payment. By considering all of these costs, you are able to determine what your affordability range is. You also need to budget for move-in expenses after your home purchase as well as set aside money for any possible repairs, furnishings, or upgrades. You need to budget accordingly to avoid being home broke, which is when your housing expenses account for a very large percentage of your monthly budget. You do not want to spend a significantly large portion of your income on homeownership.
The right location
The location of a home is by far one of the most, if not the most important thing to consider when buying a home. You need to ensure that you assess the average sales price of homes in your area of interest and that the sale price aligns with the average price per home. You also want to consider an area based on whether or not it guides your general lifestyle regarding things like transport options, nearby schools, shops, and commuting. You should go to the local police station of that area and enquire about the crime rates of the neighborhood you are interested in and you want to consider the noise level.
If you’re a first-time home buyer, there is no need to feel overwhelmed by this process. Keep in mind that a real estate agent is able to assist in all the above-mentioned areas.