5 Key Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Answer
Category Newsletter: Property
Renting a property might not be ideal for many people as they feel they are simply paying off someone else's bond.
While that might be one way of looking at it, buying and owning a house requires a lot more commitment and effort than renting.
Potential buyers need to do thorough research before taking the plunge and putting a deposit down on a house.
There are many things that need careful consideration, but these 5 key questions should be answered before first-time home buyers purchase a home:
Question #1 - Is there room for growth?
A property should be viewed as a medium to long-term investment.
It takes at least about 7 years before homeowners start reaping the rewards of their investment, so it is important to decide whether the property meets your future needs.
A lot can happen in a few years' time and there is no way to anticipate it because your 5-year plan might not even pan out.
However, it is a good idea to try and prepare for the unexpected. Your family might grow, you need to ensure that the property can grow in value, and you are going to want to buy in the best neighborhood possible. All these things need to be taken into account.
Question #2 - Get back to basics
The first home you see might not be very luxurious, but you need to make sure that the basics are in excellent condition.
Try not to make a decision based on emotion, but on factual evidence and research.
Have the property properly looked into by a real estate professional and ideally, you'd have a home inspection done from top to bottom in order to ascertain that everything is in working order.
Question #3 - There is a lifespan to everything
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever and you might have to replace a few things a few years from now.
Certain features might look amazing and they might be great condition now but later they do need replacement.
Have a careful look at larger aspects of the house like the roof and the flooring. When was the last time they were replaced and how long will it be until they need to be replaced again?
These are important questions that need to be answered. Researching the lifespan of these aspects will definitely assist in your planning your financial budget/future.
Question #4 - It's not about perfect - it's about right
Your first home might not be in perfect condition and the counters might not sparkle as they did 10 years ago, but you need to make sure whether it is the right home for you.
When looking at a home, draw up three columns: must-haves, nice-to-haves, and negotiables.
The must-haves are features you can't go without while all the other items can be jotted down as luxuries.
A lock-up garage, for instance, is nice to have, but not if it means sacrificing an extra room. The priority of each aspect will depend on your own personal tastes.
Question #5 - Consider all the costs
When buying a home, it is important to know that you won't just be paying your bond instalments, but there are other costs that are incurred involving the monthly maintenance and upkeep of the house.
It is essential that you choose a property that fits your budget and your needs.
Things to include in your budget are utility bills, rates and taxes, and insurance costs. These costs are not considered by the bank when calculating your loan so it is up to you to factor them in.
Take enough time to weigh your options and to ensure that you are happy with the choice you make.