When it comes to buying a property, it’s fair to say it’s going to be one of the biggest purchases you ever make.
It’s one of the most complex, too.
Objectively, it makes complete sense to bide your time and gain as much knowledge and insight as you can, before you sign on the dotted line.
Here are eight things you need to know before you start your property search.
- Carefully consider the types of property you can really afford
Before you start looking at property or even suburbs, make sure you know how much you can afford. That doesn’t mean the maximum you can borrow, it means the maximum you’re prepared to pay each month.
Home loan repayments – plus the associated costs of owning a home – impact your monthly budget far more than rental payments do.
Plan your budget with your home loan repayments in mind and live on your new budget for three months – remembering to put away a sum every month for maintenance. That way you can ensure your mortgage doesn’t become a millstone, and you are able to live your life the way you want to.
Don’t forget, when you purchase property there are a number of other upfront costs to cover too, including stamp duty – so make sure you factor those in. After that, apply for pre-approval, so you can look at property with intent, rather than hope.
- Research the local area. Then do some more research
According to Emilia Flores, the co-founder of UkBadCreditLoans, there’s no such thing as being too informed when it comes to buying property, so take your time to know as much as you can about the suburbs you’ve identified as having potential. Talk to real estate agents and your mortgage broker to get a sense of what’s happening in the local area.
- Take the time to sniff out any issues with the property
Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, you need to make sure it has no nasty hidden surprises. Smell for mould, and animal-related odours. Knock on walls to see if they sound hollow. Open the dryer and the dishwasher – you never know if pests are living in there. Ask questions, and don’t be afraid of asking more.
- Work with experienced professionals
With such a big purchase, it makes sense to surround yourself with experts. Hire the most thorough, licensed home inspector you can find to pinpoint any issues that could potentially end up becoming costly repairs.