February 9, 2018

Five common mistakes first time buyers make – and how to avoid them

The deal is undoubtedly rough for first time buyers. Even as property prices fall across Australia, searching for and finding a property that is suitable and affordable is less than easy. Here at Eview we specialise in helping our clients find the perfect property for them – whether they’re stepping on the first rung of the property ladder or settling into their forever home. The process for first-time buyers is a little different and more specific compared to those who have purchased a property before. Because you’re embarking on something completely new and unknown, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Understandably this is incredibly exciting but – also daunting at the same time.

Here we share some of the most common mistakes first-time buyers make, and how you can avoid them to ensure that the process is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Get financially savvy before you start your search
Finance is everything as you consider purchasing your very first property. You may think you know about the costs involved in the process – but unfortunately there are many additional elements you’ll need to budget for that you may be unaware of. Yes, you’ll need a deposit and money for legal fees – but what about surveys, removal costs, mortgage fees and insurance? When you plan ahead you avoid nasty (or disruptive) surprises and can feel confident when budgeting and making an offer. Make sure you have sufficient funds (plus a little extra just in case) before you start you search. Often saving up is one of the hardest parts – but once you’re there, you’re ready to find your first home.

Research, research, research
We can’t stress this enough – it’s incredibly important to do your research. As you are completely new to this process you’ll need to arm yourself with the facts. Just when you think you know it all, there could be something else to discover. Make sure you have support from professional real estate agents and other experts to guide and advise you impartially. Friends and family members can also be a source of guidance, but beware outdated information or incorrect advice that could hamper your search. Most importantly be realistic and scope out the type of properties you can afford on your budget.

Don’t let your heart rule your head
You may love that particular property, but financially is it sensible? Buying for the first time (and in fact anytime) involves balancing your heart and your head – finding equilibrium between what you want, and what you should have. That apartment may be perfect, but it’s way too expensive, and the seller won’t budge. If you pay over the odds you may be hurting what is essentially a huge investment for the future. Buy the right property at the right price – even if it means compromising just a little.

Don’t skimp on surveys
With so much to pay for, many first-time buyers naturally skimp on extras, such as full structural surveys. But these things really are crucial – and spending money now could save you the hassle of unexpected costs in the future. So many first-time buyers have been stung in the past by the huge costs of maintenance on properties that appeared to be charming and full of character on the surface, but in fact concealed a host of problems that require specialist attention.

Use the internet as a useful tool – but don’t rely on it
The internet is an incredibly useful tool, especially in the early stages of your property search. But it’s important not to rely solely on the internet to help you in your search. At first it feels convenient – but after hours or trawling listings and flicking through photos it becomes apparent that human interaction is much more fruitful when it comes to property searching. Find a local estate agent who can offer you expert advice and do some of the hard work for you, locating properties within your budget and advising you on the state of the local market and what you’re likely to be dealing with during your search.