Below are the 5 key steps that you need to complete for buying your house.
- Borrowing – Even before you start to look at any properties, it is important to know how much you can borrow (from the Financial Institutions – FIs / Banks). Different FIs have different lending criteriaand hence the amount you can borrow varies. You will be very surprised to see how much the variance is from one FIs to the other. Don’t get too carried away by the FI that is willing to lend you the more than others. It is important to do a bit of research yourself and make sure you comfortable with the loan amount and service it easily. There are so many different kinds of loans that are available in the market, for eg. Fixed / variable, P&I / I only. I would suggest you talk to a qualified professional and then decide what is best for you.
- House Search – The process of buying a house in Australia start with this step. It is very important you have a list of features and characteristics that would be looking for in your ideal house. For eg. You may want to live in a particular suburb because you have friends living there and want a low maintenance 4 bed room house with a small backyard. It should be walking distance to the train station and have medical facilities nearby. Now start the house search – visit one of the property listing websites and shortlist the ones you want to have a visit. Contact the listing agents and make a list of the open dates. Also let the real estate agents in that area know that you are looking for a house. You will be surprised to know that many properties are sold before they are out in the market.
- Property Inspection – After you shortlist the properties, make sure you visit each property and weigh each property on the basis of criteria that you have listed. Weigh each house and give a comparative score. You would want to create a list of preferred properties based on the scores and maybe make an offer on the first property on your list. Some of the key things that you should be inspecting are
- age of the property,
- overall property presentation,
- any renovation required
- size of the bed rooms / kitchen etc
- the neighbourhood etc
- Future potential of the property etc.
- Make offer – One of the most important process for buying a house in Australia is the price offer / bidding process. It is very important that you understand the value of the property, if necessary, consult a professional before you put in an offer for the house. Remember, if you want to make an offer, there will be others who would want to do the same. Don’t take any hasty decisions and always stay calm during the process. Real estate agents would always want the buyer to pay maximum prices so you have to think before you make any decisions. My suggestion is do your homework and you will save thousands of dollars.
- Inspection –depending on the age of the house you may have to hire a qualified building and pest inspector who would give you a detailed report on the status of the property. If the inspector identifies any issues with the property feel free to discuss that with the real estate agent / seller.A few hundred dollars spent on house inspection may save you a lot of hassle and thousands of dollar. It is important to identify issues in the property that might create problem for you at a later stage.
- Settlement–this is the process which finally makes sure you are the owner of the house. You probably don’t have to do much in this process however, make sure you continuously communicate with your conveyancer / lawyer at every stage of the buying process. Hoping you go through the previous 5 steps in successfully, the sixth step will not be difficult to get through.
All the Best and don’t hesitate to ask questions. The more questions you ask, the easier it gets.