Buying a property as a first home buyer can be overwhelming. There’s so much choice! But knowing when and what to compromise on when searching for your first home is essential to the buying process, and your sanity.
As you begin looking for the perfect starting point for your real estate dreams it’s important to keep in mind that it’s unlikely one property will tick all of your boxes. So what are the non-negotiable factors that should always be on your list?
The below is what we’ve come up with.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
We’ve all heard this a thousand times. And there’s plenty of reasons why location reigns king. Firstly, most people want to enjoy where they live. This will be determined by different things for different people, but common considerations include being close to cafes or available public transport links to commute to work. Secondly, the prices for certain areas will be daunting for a lot of first home buyers. This results in many having to look further afield to find the right property for them. If you’re a first home buyer in Brisbane there are some great suburbs that offer the excitement of inner city life without the hefty price tag. For example, Cannon Hill, Banyo or Nundah.
Where can I buy in Brisbane?
As a first home buyer it’s important to be realistic about your plans for your first purchase. If you’re not keen on renovating or have little to no experience fixing up houses, it might be better to focus on the more finished properties than taking on renovators delights. In saying that, if a property just needs a basic face lift and you’ve got the budget, there’s no harm in including these properties in your search. It’s also important to be cautious of any shared repairs and/or maintenance requirements when buying an apartment. If the strata (or body corporate) fund doesn’t have sufficient savings to cover the repair costs, owners in the building may need to pay additional fees to cover the difference.
The best advice is often the hardest to follow. However, when buying your first home it’s important to set your budget and stick to it. Don’t let your emotions drive your decisions. It can be tempting to stretch your budget when you finally find a property you really want. But always stop to think about how your lifestyle may be affected by this huge financial commitment. Do you really like this property enough that you won’t mind not being able to go out with friends or book a holiday or buy a daily coffee?
ZONING AND DEVELOPMENT
Always do your own research and try to uncover any potential problems before you begin negotiations. Make sure that there aren’t any council restrictions or development plans that will impact the area or your potential property. Don’t forget to investigate major infrastructure projects. For example, are there any new roads planned for the area? If so, will this impact on your property?
Taking the leap into the property market can be mighty confusing but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Using the four factors outlined above will help you focus on properties that are going to meet your basic needs. You can always add more factors as you go along. This will ultimately become your property wish list. A property wish list is a great tool to guide your property purchases.
It’s also always a good idea to seek help from the experts when you need it. Mortgage brokers, building and pest inspectors, conveyancers and real estate agents (here’s a link to our buying tips) can all help you step through the process and help you avoid expensive and stressful mistakes. And never forget to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, ask more questions or do some extra research until you feel more confident in your decision.
And lastly, as first home buyers don’t forget to have fun! You only get to be one once so enjoy it.