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Top tips for buying a first home in 2017

Fri February 10, 2017

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One of the biggest goals that many Australians set themselves at the start of a new year is to make their first steps onto the property ladder, with a first home purchase perhaps the biggest leap. It's often a daunting decision, but one that can pay huge dividends further down the track and set up future moves in the market. The key to making the process as stress-free as possible is to be prepared, with a good plan being critical to finding the perfect property. 

In this article, we'll have a look at some of the essential ways to prepare yourself for when the perfect slice of real estate comes along, ensuring that you don't miss out on a potentially great investment. 

The market waits for nobody, and you never know when the perfect opportunity might come up.

1. Get your deposit together

A first home shouldn't be an impulse purchase, and if you've decided that 2017 is the year you'll finally take the plunge, you probably have been saving for a while to get your deposit together. Having this organised before you start looking seriously is hugely important, with the key to success being completely ready to make a purchase before you commit to a purchase. 

It can certainly be tough to get a deposit together, but once you've got the all-important 20 per cent that you need, you should start looking right away. The market waits for nobody, and you never know when the perfect opportunity might come up. 

2. Talk to agents

Gathering information is essential to making a good property decision - especially when it comes to data like location, potential prices or increases in value. The best source of this information is an expert real estate agent, specifically one who is experienced in the specific areas or suburbs that you are most interested in. 

An experienced agent will also be able to give you a good idea of when more properties might be coming on the market, which can be beneficial to buyers because it increases the amount of options available. Having a relationship with a local agent will also come in handy if you decide to sell your property, so don't be shy, get in touch with somebody in your target region today. 

An experienced real estate agent can be an invaluable source of information for first time buyers. An experienced real estate agent can be an invaluable source of information for first time buyers.

3. Stick to your budget

One of the biggest mistakes that first time buyers make is to blow their budget, with Empower Wealth's Ben Kingsley telling Domain that "the offer of more money from a lender is usually too tempting for a first-timer to pass up." 

This can lead to overspending, and an over the top purchase will prove far more difficult to pay off. Instead of looking to tick every box all at once, the goal with a first home purchase should simply be to get into the market and begin paying off a mortgage. Once this vital first step has been taken, then you can start looking seriously at bigger properties or perhaps even an investment portfolio. 

In a market like Sydney where prices are increasing, waiting too long could make it harder to make a purchase.

4. Be prepared to pull the trigger

On the other side of the coin to blowing your budget is waiting too long for the perfect house to come along, and in the process missing out on some other incredible opportunities. Yes, buying shouldn't be a snap decision, but once you've got your deposit and have had financing approved, there's no reason not to start making moves for properties that tick the boxes. Plus, in a market like Sydney where prices are increasing, waiting too long could make it harder to make a purchase anyway. 

For more information or tips on buying a first home, contact the team at Laing+Simmons today. 

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