As obvious as it may seem, the crucial first stage on the road to home ownership is being aware of exactly what you can afford to buy. Your lender will offer pre-purchase approval so that you know where you stand financially from the beginning.
Once you have identified a property you would like to buy, the lender will then be able to formally approve a loan much more quickly thanks to your proactive approach - our finance team can help you with this step.
While it might be tempting to avoid sundry costs as much as possible - given that you are about to invest a significant amount of money into the purchase of the home - it is unwise to ignore the value of building and pest inspections.
You would be well advised to stress the high level of urgency of these inspections to whoever you contract to do the job - and the same applies to your solicitor or your conveyancer.
You may come across a contract that includes a "subject to…" section, with factors such as finance approval and satisfactory building inspection often listed as prerequisites to a sale.
The property cannot be sold to another party for the period of time stipulated in the contract unless there is a cash out clause.
An alternative approach to consider is buying at auction. This is a scenario that may seem intimidating to many first time buyers, but if you do your research it can be a viable strategy.
Many of the steps that go into purchasing a property privately also apply to auctions, such as arranging the required inspections and seeking formal approval of your loan.
Although it is possible for properties listed for auction to be sold in advance, in the majority of cases they will go under the hammer on a specified date.
If you are the successful bidder at the auction, you and the vendor will enter into an unconditional contract.
First time buyers should be aware that there are often additional costs associated with purchasing a property.
Building and pest inspections are not obligatory, but they are highly recommended for avoiding the possibility of buying a home with existing problems that could be very expensive to rectify later.
Your solicitor or conveyancer may advise that you obtain a new survey of the property, while there are also a number of searches and enquiries they will need to charge you for.
There are generally certain legal and loan establishment costs that your lending body will pass onto you, so it is advisable to ask about such fees in advance.
Although it is not strictly a factor in the purchase of the property, the cost of moving home should also be calculated into your financial planning.
The real estate agent's costs are incurred by the vendor, so this is one aspect of the sale you will not need to worry about.
Consult the expert advice of a solicitor, conveyancer or LJ Hooker agent for more comprehensive details regarding your personal situation.