8 helpful tips for first home buyers

On the hunt for your very first home? We know, it can be a stressful and daunting experience. After all, buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. So to help make your home buying journey a little less scary, here are 8 tips to help navigate the process more smoothly and efficiently.


1. Start off with a bang

Once you’ve made the big decision to start looking for your first home, go out and start scouting! View as many properties as you can within the first few weeks as it will help you get an understanding of the market. You’ll quickly get a grasp of what kind of property you’re after, how realistic that goal is, and what you’re prepared to pay for it.


2. Be realistic

First home buyers tend to start off going to auctions and looking at properties that are priced well above what they can afford. After continual disappointment, they eventually get buyer fatigue and then start looking for properties in the right price range. Avoid the heartbreak and be realistic about your options from the beginning.


3. Be inquisitive

If you find yourself falling in love with a house - try to take a breather. If the house and price seem too good to be true, there may be hidden problems with the house. Do some basic checks of the house yourself before paying for a building inspection. Look under the floor for dampness and look out for repairs that may need to be covered. Ask the realtor if the property is compliant with the building code. Have a look at our 8 quick checks to make when viewing a house. Doing these checks will reveal any issues you should know beforehand.


4. Check everything

A building inspection will help identify any major issues with the house - but it may miss the small things. It pays to check that everything works yourself - from the heated towel rails in the bathroom to the dishwasher and oven in the kitchen.


5. Compare mortgage rates

A common mistake first home buyers make is getting a quote from only one lender. Comparing mortgage rates from at least three lenders can potentially save you a few thousand dollars. Get at least three quotes and compare their rates and fees before deciding which lender you’ll ultimately go with.


6. Pick your advisers wisely

From your broker, bank, lawyer and building inspector - make sure they are more than qualified to do a good job for you. Do your research, and appoint them consciously.

Here’s our guide to choosing the right mortgage broker.


7. Plan for your mortgage

If you’re planning to have kids soon, travel overseas, or go back to study - work out what that means for your mortgage repayments in advance. Planning for this beforehand will mean less stress and anxiety in the future.


8. Pay more than the minimum rate

To stay ahead of your mortgage, try to make repayments more than the minimum amount. Sticking to the minimum won’t help you pay off your mortgage any faster, and your mortgage costs will increase when rates go up. Becoming mortgage free within 10 to 15 years is absolutely do-able - as long as you’re disciplined about it!

To learn more about how to become mortgage free, check out our article on how to pay off your loan faster.