What to expect when buying your first home
Planning on buying your first home? It can feel a little daunting, but take heart from the fact that there are basically five steps to follow - we've broken them down for you here - and you'll soon be unlocking the front door to your first home! BetterBond will be here to help you at every step as you make your way from homebuyer to homeowner, starting right here...
Step 1 - Prepare to buy your first home
Before you call an estate agent or start scrolling through the online property listings, it pays to look into your home loan affordability first. It could save you plenty of time and money by helping you focus your search. The quickest and easiest way to find out what you can afford, is to use an Affordability Calculator. If you'd like formal confirmation of affordability, your next move would be a bond pre-approval, officially stating what you can afford. This gives you an edge over other buyers by showing the seller and the agent that you mean business, and it allows you to look at properties you can afford rather than wasting time on ones you can't. And if you're worried about the admin, relax, we do all the heavy-lifting for you. We start by confirming your income and expenses to give you an accurate idea of how much the banks are likely to lend you. And while we're at it, we do a credit check to establish whether you can realistically expect to be approved for a home loan.
Step 2 - Find your first home
Homebuying can be an emotional business. But, while it's important to find a property that gives you a great feeling the moment you step through the front door, it's also necessary to do your homework upfront. As you would with any other big life decision, or major purchase, you should take some time to figure out what really matters to you. For example, if you want three bedrooms, two bathrooms and you'd like a freestanding house in a security complex, then you can narrow your search to properties that match this description. It also helps to decide beforehand what you would consider to be dealbreakers, and what you're prepared to compromise on. For example, a double garage may be non-negotiable, but a swimming pool simply nice to have.
Step 3 - Make an offer
Once you've found a place you love, it's time to submit an Offer to Purchase (OTP) and hopefully make it yours. Before putting pen to paper, remember that the OTP becomes a legally binding contract the moment you and the seller have both signed it. When it comes to deciding how much to offer, look at what similar properties in the area have been selling for and chat to an estate agent about the specific property you're interested in. For example, if it's been on the market for a while, or the owner is in a hurry to sell because they're relocating, you may be able to negotiate a better deal. As far as possible, try to keep emotion out of it, because if you become too attached to a property, you might offer more than it's worth, or more than you can afford, and neither of these scenarios work in your favour.
Step 4 - Get a bond
Just as you would compare prices before buying any big ticket item, it makes sense to compare what the different banks offer you, when it comes to finding the best home loan deals too. However, doing all that admin yourself is time consuming and confusing with different criteria and requirements coming at you from all corners. Instead,use BetterBond to do the shopping around for you, and we'll find you the best interest rate on your bond. It won't cost you a cent and could save you hundreds of thousands in interest over your loan term. Plus, if your home loan application comes through BetterBond, the banks know that they are competing for your business, and this means they put their best offers on the table. In order for us to help you, all you need to do is submit a single application and provide us with the required documents, and we'll take care of the rest. BetterBond will bring you different home loan deals from various banks and you can choose the one that suits your budget best. It really is that simple to let us help you secure your first home, and it is completely free.
Step 5 - Own it
Once the deal goes through, you've done it, you're a homeowner for the first time - mega congratulations! Now you can schedule your move, complete your packing, and settle into your first home, making it your own. Enjoy - you deserve it.