6 things to do before buying a home

April 28, 2016

Buying a home, especially your first, is an exciting time in everyone’s life. But there are many things you’ll have to think about and take into consideration before making this decision.


Buying a home is likely going to be the biggest purchase you make in your life. You need to be sure you’re getting it right. These are just some of the things you need to do before you buy a home:


Choose your budget. This is the first, and possibly most important, thing you should do when you’ve decided to buy a home. Understand how much of your salary you’re able to spend on your bond. Use a mortgage loan calculator to work out how much you can afford. It’s important to remember that you’ll have to pay rates, taxes, levies and insurances. A good rule to keep in mind is to spend less than you think you’re able to. You don’t want to find yourself in a tough financial situation because you’re living in a home you can’t truly afford.


Get pre-qualified for your home loan. This will ensure you know exactly how much you’re able to spend. Once again, rather spend a little less than the banks tell you that you can afford. In addition, being pre-qualified will ensure it will be faster for the sale to be finalised once you find the home of your dreams.


Decide on your wishlist. These are the items you want in your home. Some will be essentials, like the neighbourhood, number of bedrooms and parking space. Others will be the nice-to-haves like wood flooring, high ceilings and fireplace. That way you won’t waste your time viewing homes which don’t have your essentials.


Drive past the houses you like. Drive past in the morning, drive past at night and drive past during peak traffic times. This will allow you to really get  a sense of what the area is like. The last thing you want to happen is to find you can’t leave your home in the morning because of intense school traffic. This might also be an opportunity for you to meet your new neighbours.


Research the neighbourhood by searching online and setting up news alerts. In this way you’ll be able to find news of crime and improvements in the area. This knowledge will help you decide whether the neighbourhood is a good investment or not.


Prepare yourself for hidden fees (and the not-so-hidden). Buying a home always comes with a fair amount of admin work and hidden costs. This can include the deposit, transfer costs, attorney costs, insurances and administration costs. By having money saved for these expenses, you won’t be taken by surprise and left in an uncomfortable financial position. There’s little point living in the home of your dreams if you’re forced to eat noodles and nothing else daily.

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