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Searching For Your First Home


Hunting for your first property purchase can be a time of great excitement, but it can also cause feelings of stress and apprehension. When you’re about to make a large financial commitment it is important that you buy something that ticks all (or as many) of your boxes as possible while still providing a secure home and solid investment.

So, what should you look out for and consider when searching for your first home? Here are our tips to keep in mind.

Work out your ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’

It is highly unlikely that you will find a property that gives you absolutely everything you are looking for within your price range, particularly when purchasing your first home. It can be useful to create a list of ‘must haves’ – the elements you simply cannot live without – and the ‘nice to haves’, which are factors you might consider to be a bonus. It can also be handy to make a note of your dealbreakers, too, as this can help to weed out certain properties and save time.

‘Must haves’ might include the location, number of bedrooms, a dedicated parking spot, or an internal laundry, whereas ‘nice to haves’ might include ocean views, a separate laundry, built-in robes, or recent renovations. Ultimately, though, what goes on these lists is up to you!

Keep your current and future lifestyle at the forefront of your mind

Your first home may end up serving many purposes – it can be your primary place of residence for a few years, the step up the property ladder to your next home, or even an investment property if you are in the position to move on but maintain it as a rental. It may be difficult to plan many years ahead, but you should take note of your current circumstances and consider whether the properties you are considering are going to be fit for your purpose no matter what goals you have.

Think about factors like the potential to move intrastate, interstate or even overseas in the near future, whether you will have children, or if you may need to move an ageing family member in with you. Will the properties you have in mind suit your needs in the next five to ten years?

Selling and re-buying can be expensive, so where possible you should try to buy the type of property that you can stay in for years to come, even if your situation changes or your family grows.

Broaden your search

With websites and apps making it easy to filter and search for suitable properties, we are fortunate to have the bulk of the market at our fingertips, however, these resources are available to everyone with internet access, and nabbing a bargain or hidden gem may require a little bit of extra work. By broadening the means by which you search you could stumble upon a property you wouldn’t have otherwise considered, was lost due to a glitch in the search, or even something that hasn’t hit the market yet.

Contact the local agents in the area and ask them to add you to their mailing lists. You can specify what you are looking for and your price range so that you aren’t bombarded with unrelated communications.

Visit the area in which you are interested in purchasing and take a note of for sale signs. This will help you solidify which streets you do and don’t like, too.

Keep an eye on local publications, such as community newspapers where people may have advertised privately. Not every vendor uses an agent and you may find a great deal from a vendor looking to offload their property without paying marketing or agent fees.

Don’t give up!

Buying your first home can be a numbers game. It is a competitive market and there will be other buyers in your price range with similar expectations. Don’t let that deter you and stick to your plan. Little can be gained from buying a property that doesn’t fit your criteria simply because you are afraid of missing out, so have courage in your conviction and keep up the search until you find the property for you.

If you are looking to purchase your first home and have questions about this, please contact one of our experienced mortgage brokers on (07) 4052 0751.

By Lauren Eakins

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