Buying your first home is such an important step. Here are things to consider so that you make sure you get it right.
Can you get help?
Different states and territories have different government assistance programs where the state government will give you money towards your first home. A simple Google search will show you what’s available to you so you can include the grant in your budget.
Is it realistic?
Your first home is usually a modest purchase – it’s unusual for it to be a four storey mansion on the waterfront. The important thing with property is getting your foot in the door, then you can add extensions and renovate as necessary. It can also be good to make a modest purchase for your first house to avoid having too much money sitting in the bank effecting your tax, since the more expensive the house, the bigger the deposit you’ll have to have. Make sure you buy a first home that’s a realistic purchase but not too shabby – with a lot of government grants, you have to live in the house for at least a year after you purchase it, so you don’t want to be stuck in a dive.
Make sure you’re ready for the responsibility
Paying rent is one thing, a mortgage is in a whole other realm of responsibility. Defaulting on a mortgage can seriously affect your credit rating, so make sure that when you’re buying your first home, you’ve taken into consideration things like interest rate changes, unexpected loss of employment or ill health. Owning a home for the first time also brings new costs, such as rates, insurance and body corporate costs if your new home is in a block of units or apartments. Remember, buying a home isn’t just buying a home – it’s buying the new costs that come with it.
Beware the scams
It’s like your mum used to say, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. The same goes for buying your first home. Because it’s all new to you, it can be harder to spot the scams, so if you see a crazy price for a house and land package or an off the plan deal that seems a little shady, it’s best to turn and walk in the other direction. A good way to avoid scams is to deal with businesses that have a reputation for quality, like Coral Homes, so you know you won’t be sold a lemon.
Get the right advice
You may think it’s an unnecessary cost, but advice from a financial adviser and property lawyer is advisable when buying your first home, to make sure everything is above board. You wouldn’t want to miss any important cooling off periods or sign a dodgy contract, would you?
Don’t let these considerations scare you off from making the jump from renting to buying – it’s worth making the move, but just make sure you do it wisely.