5 Tips to Ease the Stress of Buying a Home

Buying a new home is an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful and tiring. To make sure that your new home meets your needs and your budget, use common sense when evaluating a property. Here are five tips that can ease the stress of buying a home.

get a builling inspection booked when you buy a new home

1. Be clear about what you want.

Define the neighbourhood characteristics that best suit your lifestyle.

Spend some time to research the areas you would like to live in. Do you prefer a neighbourhood near major thoroughfares and shopping centres or a more secluded area? If you have school-age children, are local schools important?

Know what features will meet your family’s needs, including size, floorplan, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amount of garden space and availability of car parking.

2. Define your budget.

An assessment of your financial situation will help you determine how much you can afford.

Evaluate how your income is used. List all current debts and their payoff dates. Note how much you now spend on rent, utilities, debts and other necessary living expenses.

Most home purchases require a deposit. Determine how much you can save each month to increase the amount available for a deposit.

The more you pay up front toward the purchase price, the lower the monthly payments will be. Monthly loan payments are often higher than rental rates. If you rent now, calculate how much more you can comfortably pay each month on a mortgage.

3. Know what fees are assessed.

Each state and territory in Australia charges stamp duty tax and other fees that must be paid by the purchaser of a home.

Council taxes may also be levied for the city or district. Find out what fees are part of the purchasing process in your area.

Home insurance may be required by a lender.

Building insurance covers the building, outbuildings and grounds. Other policies cover contents. To protect your belongings and property, make sure that you get a policy that covers both.

Some states also require insurance that covers natural disasters such as floods or bushfires.

Lenders may charge establishment fees to start the loan and other fees during the life of the loan.

Many lenders require a building and pest inspection before guaranteeing a loan. Even if this is not required, inspections determine what defects or problems are present at the time of inspection and how much it will cost to repair them.

4. Research the property market in your target area.

Selling prices vary dramatically from district to district and neighbourhood to neighbourhood. If you are set on a particular district, research the property values in that area. Check both listing and selling prices.

In an expensive area, a smaller home or one that has not been updated may be less expensive. If you prefer a larger home but have a limited budget, look at less expensive areas that have desirable features such as schools, parks and shopping centres.

5. Ask for advice.

If you are unsure about the terms of the contract, contact a conveyancer or solicitor licensed to practice in the state where you plan to buy the property.

A licensed professional will review the document to ensure that the terms are fair and legal.