Top 5 mistakes first home buyers make

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Graduating, getting your first ‘proper’ job, starting a family, buying your first home - all exciting milestones, but how prepared are we for them?

In the case of buying your first home, there is a lot to take in - so you need to be up to speed on all aspects of a complex process. If you are ready to jump on the property ladder, avoid these 5 missteps and make your first home buying experience (largely) stress-free.

1. It’s not just the purchase price

Don’t focus solely on the purchase price of your new home - there are other costs to factor in. Like what? Try stamp duty (a big one), building and pest inspections, legal fees, moving costs, home and contents insurance, council rates and the ongoing cost of maintenance. It all adds up, so get the calculator out and factor all these into your budget.

2. Getting emotional

It doesn't get much more personal than a home. Even though you have fallen head over heels in love with a property, put emotion aside and give a thought to life’s practicalities. Is the fact that there is no public transport nearby potentially significant? It could make getting to work difficult! What about the major developer application that’s pending next door, or the flight path right above you? Take a step back, even get a second opinion - don’t just rush into it.

3. Being fussy

Dreaming about your dream (first) home can get you into trouble. It’s understandable that you want it to be just right - but sometimes you can’t get everything you want straight away. A healthy dose of compromise is what you need, which means lowering your expectations and settling for something that wasn’t quite on your radar. That ugly duckling could turn out to be a real gem over time.

4. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

When it comes to the condition of your prospective home, don’t take anything at face value. Who knows what is lurking behind that new coat of paint. Termites? Asbestos? The only way to have complete peace of mind is to get a pre-purchase building and pest inspection. It is going to cost you, but it is totally worth it as it could save you from a costly mistake.

5. Not understanding the process

Buying a home is a complex process, so get your head around the practicalities. Do you know how an auction works? What type of mortgage best suits your needs? There is no shortage of (free) resources online - or you could ask a friend/relative/parent for advice. This will ensure there are no nasty surprises along the way.

If you found this useful, you won't believe how awesome our other articles are! Check them out in our Buying a Property section.

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