Buying a home can be a stressful period of your life.  After all it is probably one of the greatest decisions you will make and is usually your greatest asset.  Done properly it can be an exciting and enjoyable period of your life.

To make it an enjoyable and challenging period of your life requires a little bit of planning.

1. Know what you want and can afford

It is an infliction of the human condition that our wants are limitless but our budgets are not, unless you happen to be one of the lucky classified as a multi-millionaire.  So if you are like most of us the aim is to make the most of what you can afford.

Identify Your Needs

The first step is to identify your needs: these are the must have.  For example, if you have a family with 2 children – a must have would be a home with at least 3 bedrooms.  This may also include the location of the property and how close it needs to be to amenities such as transport, schools, shops, parks and work

Identify Your Wants

The second step is to identify your wants – this are the “I would like to have but not necessary”.  These non-essential features may be such items as pools, spas etc.

Property Market Information

Once you have decided on what you need and what you want it is important to do some research on the property market. Initial research can be done by examining the local papers property sections.

Internet Sites

For pricing information there are a number of websites that will provide you with what is available and at what price.  Check the sites below:

Attending Open For Inspections and Auctions

You can do all the desk research you want, but at the end there is no substitute for getting a good feel of the market by attending Open For Inspections and Auctions to give you a good guide of what the condition and at what price properties are been offered and at what price they are sold.  This will also give you an opportunity to discuss your needs with real estate agents.

Learn as much as possible about every aspect of the property buying and selling process, and the products and services offered by:

  • estate agents
  • legal practitioners
  • conveyancers
  • lenders.

Shop around and compare products and services.

Budget before you buy property

Once you have identified what you need and the prices of the properties you are interested, the next step is to assess your financial situation and the standard of living you want in deciding the amount to borrow and repay.

It is important to remember that interest rates vary over the time and financial situations may change due to starting a family reducing family income or changes in employment conditions.

It is also worthwhile to consider the costs of buying a property, including:

  • legal and conveyancing fees
  • loan establishment fees
  • government charges such as stamp duty and the goods and services tax (GST)
  • building and pest inspection fees
  • moving costs
  • insurance (building and contents).

Seek Advice From Experts

Learn as much as possible about every aspect of the property buying and selling process, and the products and services offered by seeking the advice of experts:

  • estate agents
  • financial planners
  • accountants
  • legal practitioners
  • conveyancers
  • banks
  • mortgage lenders.