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TIPS FROM A FIRST HOME BUYER

By Natalie Fasham

There is a lot of information out there about buying your first home and some of it can be confusing. Luckily, first home buyers Veronica and Jarrad broke down exactly what it’s like to go from mum and dad’s to owning your own home.

Where were you before this and why did you decide now was the right time?

We were both living at our own parents’ houses. It was always in our plans to buy our first home around age 25 (Jarrad was 24 and I was 23 at the time) so we had been thinking about buying our first home in the next two years.

How long had you been looking? 

From the very beginning to the day we found our house, it would have been around five months of on and off looking.

What was your experience of buying like?

After some disappointments earlier in the year with loan brokers, we decided to check one more time for 2020 to see whether we did have enough money to buy a home. We got a call the next day as a follow up to the brief information we had provided to a loan broker online saying we had enough money to get started – which was less than we thought we needed.

We then filled in the rest of the details, liaised with our broker via phone and email and went to a bunch of open homes. We decided to put in for pre-approval so we knew exactly what position we’d be in to make an offer if we liked a property.

We were armed with information about the market and our price guide so we made decisions on the spot after the open home whether it was shortlisted or not, until we found the one we knew was ours. When we found the one, after a little bit of negotiation we arrived at a figure we wanted, spoke with our broker and signed the contract that afternoon, as we knew we had to get it off the market and away from other buyers.

Your best first home buyer tips and things you wouldn’t do again when you next buy?

The best thing for a first home buyer to do is to research your broker and choose someone who is willing to help you through each step of the process. Someone who is willing to take the time to break down the details for you.

Be prepared with some genuine savings, as you’ll most likely need to prove at least three months worth of genuine savings.

Research what kind of property you can get for the price range you’re thinking of to manage your expectations when going into open homes or searching through the portals.

And what would you say to future first home buyers?

Don’t be scared to jump in the market early. Meaning, don’t be afraid to go and check out open homes even when you’re not ready, just so you get your expectations in order.

Once you have a bit of money saved up, talk to your broker and work on timelines and possibilities. Even if you don’t think you have enough, you don’t have to pay for some brokers and they can provide advice based on your financial position. We turned what we thought wasn’t possible and achieved it within weeks!

Be patient, it actually takes longer to finalise than you may think. From the day of making an offer, the vendor has to agree. Once the initial contract is signed, you then receive a cooling off period to organise your unconditional approval with the bank, along with your building and pest inspection. Once unconditional approval is received you then select a settlement date which gives the banks time to sort out finances for both parties (vendor and buyer). Once the settlement date is reached, you should then be able to collect your keys.

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