Get your finances together first
In this market, it's wise to confirm how much you can borrow before you go looking to buy your home. You should also keep in mind the additional ongoing expenses that you will need to cover when owning a home such as rates, insurance etc.
Have a list
It is important to look around at different house styles that you can afford, if you have selected a specific suburb to live in. It can be disappointing if the house style you have in mind is not within your confirmed and approved price range.
You may need to choose a different suburb but still consider your needs of shopping, transport, schools etc. It helps to make a list of what is essential for you in a home and what would be a bonus.
Often home buyers pressure themselves into buying something because they feel that they have looked around for too long or that someone else may also be ready to purchase that same house.
Buying a home is an important financial decision. If a property doesn't have something that you need, say an extra bedroom for your new baby, then don't buy the property. Look at why it has taken you so long to find something; you may need to reassess your criteria for choosing a home.
Buying the first home you see
Real Estate salespeople often report how they have shown a buyer dozens of homes but it is frequently the first home that the buyer saw (and really liked) that they ended up purchasing. Salespeople are skilled at understanding what it is you are looking for and will do their best to select for you those homes that most closely match your needs.
Don't think that you have to see dozens of homes to be sure; if the first home you see suits you and you like it, then buy it. You may miss out if you choose to look at many homes before deciding.
Home Buyers often try to 'go at it alone' and not ask real estate agents for their help. But remember, agents are there to help you find what you're looking for, they do not want to sell you something that you won't be happy with. Ask salespeople questions to get as much information as you need to buy a home.
Overlooking potential future problems can be an issue for first time buyers who are not familiar with building construction. It is often a good idea to get a building inspection completed by a registered and qualified tradesperson, particularly if you are in doubt about any structural elements.
It's your decision
Home Buyers often feel that they need 'approval' from their parents or friends before making the final decision. Remember it is your opinion that matters most; you will be the one living there.
Don't judge a home by the furnishings and style that are in place. Imagine your own furnishings in place to clearly picture and highlight the benefits of the good floor plan of the home.
Buying at Auction
Don't avoid homes that are for auction because you are unfamiliar with the process. Ask your salesperson to explain the auction system to you; it is a very controlled and fair process.
Try going to several auctions and just be an observer. When you decide to attend an auction to bid for a house, then ask the agent to assist you. They will help you to feel comfortable with the process.
You can also view our Buying at Auction Guide.
There is more than one right home
The good news is there is always another home and while you may not believe it at the time, there really is another home that will suit your needs, and probably become your dream home.
Cash & Conditional Offers
When an offer is presented to the vendor it will fit into two categories, a cash offer or a conditional offer. In this market, many vendors simply want their home sold, and are therefore willing to sell it at a discounted price to cash buyers as they avoid the uncertainty of the purchasers conditions.
Obviously Vendors are still happy to accept conditional offers, however it is unlikely that they will sell the property as cheap as they would to a cash buyer. This enables you to work within your priorities in terms of the make up of the offer.