For most people, buying a home is the most significant purchase they will make in their life. For this reason, we have compiled a number of steps to help steer you in the right direction and make the process as smooth as possible.
Determine your budget
Before anything else, the first step is to determine how much you can afford to pay in loan repayments. Doing so will give you an idea of the size of the loan you can take out and the type of property you can afford to buy.
Use our mortgage calculator to calculate how much a loan will cost you per week, fortnight or month, then subtract this figure, along with any other expenses, from your income during the same time period.
Remember to remain realistic when determining your budget and ensure that the figure you are left with does not leave you short for any unexpected expenses that may come up in the future.
Saving the largest deposit possible for your home loan will mean that you spend less in the long run. The larger the deposit is, the smaller the loan and the less interest you will be charged.
A larger deposit presents you as less of a risk to lenders, allowing you to negotiate a lower interest rate. Furthermore, saving a deposit of at least 20% of the property value often means that can avoid paying 'Lender's Mortgage Insurance', an insurance that protects the lender if you cannot repay your loan.
Choosing the right lender is an important part of the buying process. When comparing home loans, have a clear idea of which key features you require from your loan and gather information from different lenders regarding features and fees.
Here at Wiseberry we have the ability to put our buyers in direct contact with lenders, often at special rates that are not offered through other channels. For more information and to let us put you in direct contact with a banker, please visit our finance page.
Get pre-approval for your mortgage
Pre-approval lets you know exactly how much you can afford to spend, giving you a clearer idea of the property you are looking for and saving you from spending time looking outside of your price range.
Pre-approval also provides you with an advantage over other buyers when making an offer on a property. If other buyers already have their finance organised while you are still waiting, they may steal your dream property before you have the chance to sign it. Getting pre-approval allows you to make an offer on a property with confidence that your finance has already been organised.
Get to know the market
Research recent sale prices and auction results in your preferred locations and compare the results against what you are looking for and your budget. This will give you an idea of what's on offereder and at what price, which will allow you to further fine tune your search.
Research the local area
Gather information about the area you are looking to buy in. Find out if the suburb is right for you, as well as if the local amenities will satisfy your needs. Check if there are any development, construction or rezoning projects planned in the future and consider how these will affect the value of your home.
Hire an agent
Hiring a buyer's agent will take a lot of the hard work out of searching for a home and can help you find a property that ticks all the boxes in a shorter time. Agents often have access to new properties before the general public do, allowing you to remain one step ahead of other buyers.
A buyer's agent will search for properties that meet your particular needs, ensuring that you don't waste time looking at properties outside of your requirements. They can organise a portfolio of properties that fit your criteria and take you to view each home.
Importantly, a buyer's agent can provide you with support during the auction and negotiation process. Their negotiation skills and knowledge of the process will help you secure the lowest purchase price possible. Their market knowledge also allows them to identify overpriced listings, saving you the risk of spending more than you should on a property.
Visit open homes
Once you have an idea of the requirements and price range of the property you are looking to buy, the next stage is to create a shortlist and begin attending open homes. When inspecting the property, ensure that it not only meets your requirements but is also free of problems that will cost you money down the track. Don't be afraid to ask questions to ensure that you gather as much information about the property as possible.
Before purchasing a property, it is a good idea to view a property more than once before making a final decision. This will ensure that you do not miss anything that may have gone unnoticed in your initial visit, as well as give you the opportunity to clarify any questions you may have with the agent.
Stay up to date on any new properties that come onto the market so that you can be the first to act. While your dream home may not be on the market today, subscribing to newsletters and property updates ensures that you will not miss a beat if it comes onto the market tomorrow.