Congratulations, you have finally decided to buy your first home. In the coming weeks and months, you will be viewing a lot of properties but, before you are tempted to purchase your first home, it is important that you do some research.

To assist you with purchasing your first property, we have put together the following a checklist:

  1. Select a conveyancer or solicitor
    It is advisable to obtain quotes and determine which conveyancer or solicitor you would like to engage for your property purchase. Once you have decided, keep their contact details handy, as you will need to have them read the contract of sale before you sign it.
  2. Determine what you can afford
    Knowing your borrowing capacity is crucial in helping you determine what type of property you can afford. A bank or mortgage broker will be able to help you with a loan preapproval so you know how much you can borrow.
  3. What is the property worth?
    When you have found a property you like, research its value. There are resources online, which you can use to download property reports, suburb reports and street reports. These reports contain details of demographics, sales history and will help give you an idea of the property’s value.
  4. Is the neighbourhood the right fit for you?
    Purchasing a home is a long term decision. Investigate what your neighbourhood has to offer (local schools, public transport and local points of interest) to make sure that it is a neighbourhood that you can see yourself living in for years to come.
  5. Research the area
    You might also like to research the area’s zoning and planning details. Things such as home insurance may be more expensive in the area due to frequent flooding, or the council may be planning future roads and utility maintenance, which could affect your daily commute.
  6. Do your due diligence
    Once you have decided on a property, ensure you have done all your due diligence on the property. This should be done before the cooling off period or auction. If the property is strata titled, ensure you order a strata report or for a house, order a building and pest inspection. Your conveyancer or solicitor will be able to help you with these.
  7. What is the Condition of the Appliances?
    Another thing to take into consideration is the condition of the home’s built-in appliances. Do they work properly? Do any repairs need to be made? Don’t be afraid to ask if you can check the air conditioning, oven, hot water, cupboards etc. If something isn’t working properly, you will have to decide if you are able to set aside some extra finances for repairs on top of the purchase of the home itself.

Buying your first home is both exciting and exhausting. The most important advice we can give you is to do your research, seek advice from your conveyancer/solicitor and if possible bring along a friend or family member to the second inspection to get a second opinion.