Sort out your finance
When buying a home, there are four groups of expenses which many home-buyers overlook or under-estimate. Unless you are prepared for them, these expenses can dampen the joys of home ownership.
1. Purchase costs
Purchase costs include legal expenses, inspection expenses, loan expenses and government expenses (stamp duty).
2. Inclusion costs
Allow a few thousand dollars for personal inclusions. There are few things more depressing than not being able to get your home ‘right’ because you are unable to afford basic inclusions. As a rule of thumb, inclusion costs can be at least ten percent of the purchase price for a brand new home and three percent for an established home.
3. Welcome costs
Over the years, hot water systems blow up, roofs leak, tree roots block sewer pipes, and fuses blow because the wiring will need replacing. Sometime these can happen to your new home. There are also costs to moving in or out of a home. If you are at your financial limit, these ‘welcome costs’ will really hurt you.
4. Running costs
Make sure you allow for running costs such as council rates, insurance, owners corporation fees and maintenance repairs.
Speak with your bank or your finance consultant to arrange the best loan to suit your needs.
Do your research
Prepare a short list of preferred suburbs that suit your lifestyle, bearing in mind affordability and accommodation requirements. The first thing to do is check out the preferred area. Drive around, look at 'For sale' signs or visit open inspections, research sales in those preferred suburbs and meet some of the agents.
As a genuine home buyer, you will soon appreciate the importance of finding an agent who will take a real interest in helping you find the right home.
Find the best agent
Call all the agents in the area and select the one who sounds the most helpful and professional. You can recognise the best agents; they are polite and they are interested in helping you. Arrange to meet the agent to talk about what you want. Do this before you see homes. They will spend as much time as necessary to find the right home for you if you tell them exactly what you want, when you want it and how much you can pay.
The best agent will make an appointment for you to inspect some homes. They will schedule times to suit you and they will make the entire process as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Find the best home
It can be annoying to be shown homes that don’t suit you. You may have to sacrifice a feature you want in a home in order to get a feature which is more important to you. The best agents will search for home on your behalf. You can tell them exactly where you prefer to live and they will make polite contact with people in those areas. This is one of the big advantages of finding the best agents – they do not ‘sit and wait’ for home to become available – they looking for them. This will put you ahead of home-buyers who deal with typical agents.
When you find a property that suits your requirements, ask your agent to send a copy of the sale contract to your solicitor or conveyancing agent. You can arrange a building inspection to make sure that you are aware of any possible major defects.
Contact a Thomas Wong Real Estate sales consultant to guide you through any aspect of the process. You will be provided with the right advice to make an informed decision when purchasing your next property.
Once negotiations have been finalised, you will need to sign the sale contract and pay a 10% deposit. Your deposit will be held in a trust account until settlement.
On settlement day it is advisable that you do a final inspection before settlement takes place. This is to check that the property is in the same condition as when you last inspected it, and that all inclusions are as per the contract you signed.