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Top Tips for Buyers

The home buying process can be exciting, especially if this is your first home. Before you start, take time to think and talk about how buying a property fits into your future plans.

Summary of important things to know
  • Think carefully about your long-term goals and how you will get there.

  • Ask yourself why you are buying. Do you want to buy or build a first home, buy a bigger home or invest in a rental property?  

  • Decide whether buying is right for you. Would renting suit your lifestyle better?

  • If you’re in a relationship, make sure you discuss your plans together.

 

Your long-term goals

Think about where you see yourself or yourselves in 5 to 10 years and beyond.

  • Where would you like to be? Town? Country? City?
  • Will you have family? Pets? Do you need to think about schools?
  • What sort of work will you be doing? Where will you be working?
  • Do you need to budget for a new car? Travel overseas?
  • Do you have enough saved for a deposit?
  • Thinking and talking about your goals will help you decide if now is the right time to buy a home or if it will be better to save more for a deposit.

The sorted.org.nz website has a helpful tool to help you plan your financial goals.

Rent or buy?

Chances are that you are renting now if you are starting to think about buying your first home. Here are some things to think about to help you decide if buying is right for you right now.

The pros of renting
  • The upfront costs (bond and rent in advance) of moving into a rental are much lower than a bank deposit on a home.
  • Renting gives you more flexibility if you’re not ready to settle in one location or if you’re likely to move because of work.
  • It’s usually the landlord’s responsibility to fix and maintain your rental property, so that’s not a cost to you, and it frees up your time.
The cons of renting
  • You’ll get no financial return on your rental. Your rent is likely to be paying off your landlord’s mortgage.
  • Your landlord can review the rent and increases will impact your budget.
  • Many landlords don't allow pets.
  • Many tenancy agreements are only for 12 months and your landlord can give notice so you have no long-term certainty about where you live.
The pros of buying
  • Purchasing property is an investment, especially if property values increase during the time it takes to pay off your bank loan.
  • Increasing value also provides you with equity you can use to buy another house or asset.
  • Purchasing property is a long-term investment and is a form of compulsory saving.
  • Owning a home gives you certainty about your location so you can make longer-term plans for things like schooling and clubs to join. With more certainty about your location, you may enjoy getting more involved in community groups.
  • Owning your own home means you are free to do what you like with it.
  • If you enjoy gardening and have a property, you can invest time and money in a garden knowing that you will enjoy what you plant.
  • You can own pets if you have your own property.
The cons of buying
  • You’ll need a 20% bank deposit to borrow a home loan from most banks or lenders (or less if you are eligible for any of the government schemes). It takes time and commitment to save a deposit. And when you have a home loan, it takes commitment and good budgeting to pay it off.
  • There are additional costs to purchasing a home, on top of the purchase price, including lawyer and conveyancer fees, property inspection reports and moving costs.
  • Maintaining or renovating a home can be time-consuming, especially if it’s a property with a garden.

Get your finances together first

People often overlook getting confirmation from their financial lending institution on the exact amount that they can borrow to purchase a home. It is always wise to have your amount confirmed before you go looking to buy your home. You should also keep in mind the additional ongoing expenses that you will need to cover when owning a home such as rates, insurance etc.

Have a list

It can be disappointing for Home Buyers if the house style they had in mind is not within their confirmed and approved price range. It is important to look around at different house styles, that you can afford, if you have selected a specific suburb to live in. Otherwise, you may need to choose a different suburb but still consider your needs of shopping, transport, schools etc. It helps to make a list of what you need in a home and what would be a bonus.

Keep Cool

Often Home Buyers pressure themselves into buying something because they feel that they have looked for so long or that someone else may also be ready to purchase that same house. Buying a home is an important financial decision. If a property doesn't have something that you need, say an extra bedroom for your new baby, then don't buy the property. Look at why it has taken you so long to find something, you may need to reassess your criteria for choosing a home.

Buying the first Home you See

Real Estate agents report so often how they have shown a buyer dozens of homes but it is frequently the first home that the buyer saw and really liked that they ended up purchasing. This is because real estate agents are skilled at understanding what it is you are looking for and will do their best to select for you those homes that most closely match your needs. Often home buyers think that they must see dozens of homes to be sure, however if the first home you see suits you and you like it, then buy it, as you may miss out if you choose to look at multiple offers before deciding.

Ask

Home Buyers often try to 'go it alone' and not ask real estate agents for their help. But remember, agents are there to help you find what you're looking for, they do not want to sell you something that you won't be happy with because unhappy customers are bad for business. Ask agents questions to get as much information as you need to buy a home.

Be Sure

Overlooking potential future problems can be an issue for first time buyers who are not familiar with building construction. It is often a good idea to get a building inspection completed by a registered and qualified tradesperson, particularly if you are in doubt about any structural elements.

It's your Decision

Home Buyers often feel that they need 'approval' from their parents or friends before making the final decision. But it is your opinion that matters most. You will be the one living there.

See Clearly

Home Buyers often judge a home by the furnishings and style that are in place. You should imagine your own furnishings in place to clearly picture and highlight the benefits of the good floor plan of the home.

Auctions are OK

Some Buyers may avoid homes that are for auction because they are unfamiliar with the process. Ask your agent to explain the auction system to you, it is a very controlled and fair process. Try going to several auctions at which you are not going to bid and be an observer. When you decide to attend an auction to bid for a house, then ask the agent to assist you. They will help you to feel comfortable with the process.

There is more than one right home

Getting attached to your dream home can be a cause of distress/frustration. You see it, you've got to have it, and then it's sold to someone else with more money. It is possible that your offer may not be accepted or that someone else may bid higher than you at the auction. The good news is there is always another home and while you may not believe it at the time, there really is another home that will suit your needs, and probably become your dream home.

If you need further assistance while looking to buy your property, please contact us.