For many Kiwis, buying a house is the ultimate goal and one that we plan for and hope to achieve at some stage in our lives. While it is an exciting process, it is also one that you need to be fully prepared for and have a clear plan for how you will attack it.
Below are our tops tips for putting your best foot forward in the journey to finding your dream first home.
Seek a pre-approved home loan
As soon as you become serious about buying your first home, start investigating lenders and start the process of gaining pre-approval.
For many first-time buyers, the hardest part of getting onto the property ladder will be getting a home loan. While the actual search for your home is the fun part, searching for the right lending situation is arguably the most important.
Gaining a pre-approved home loan will give you the confidence that once you find the right home, you will have the ability to secure it if you are successful.
Be open and honest
Whether we like it or not, a home loan is arguably the biggest financial commitment many Kiwis will take on. And, for lenders, it is a big commitment as well. As a result, they will want to take a look into every aspect of your financial situation.
Potential lenders are going to analyse everything from your savings, income and expenses, debts or loans and whether you pay on time or have defaulted. The best thing to do is to be totally upfront and honest with them. Most lenders will look more favourably on applications that declare everything over applications that try to hide things.
At the end of the day, lenders go through everything with a fine-tooth comb, so they will find anything that you try to hide. Do not let that be the reason you lose out on your first home.
Know what you want
What are you looking for in a first home? Are you seeking a fairly easy way to enter the property market with the aim of upsizing down the road or are you looking for a family home with plenty of room to grow into?
Before you get serious about buying a house, it is important you ask yourself this question. The answer to this question will impact every aspect of your search, from ideal areas, real estate agents, budget and loan type.
Once you know what you are looking for and you have designed a plan of attack, it is time to start shopping. The search for a house is a fun and exciting journey, so make sure you take your time to soak it all in.
Chances are you will not find the perfect home straight away. For many first-time buyers, the process can take months, even years. So take this time to look at all different housing types, mortgage options and suburbs. As you shop around and investigate all the options available, you will be able to narrow your search and preferences ensuring you will know when you have found the right home.
Create a budget
Before you even begin the process of searching for houses, we highly recommend you take the time to put together a detailed budget. Many first-time buyers tend to go into the process head-first without seriously considering what they can and can not afford.
Avoid this by seriously looking at your financial positions. Much like lenders will do, it is important you look at your deposit or savings amount, income and expenses, potential mortgage repayments and lifestyle costs. This will not only give you a clear picture of the type of house you can afford but also whether you can afford the mortgage repayments on it moving forward.
The journey to buying your first home should be an exciting time in anyone's life. As you begin the process of moving off the rental ladder and gain an asset that will ideally appreciate in value over time, it is also a process that if not properly planned for or undertaken blindly could hold you back in the future.
Although, by taking the above steps and seeking advice from an experienced real estate agent, you can put yourself in the best position to succeed and enjoy the freedom that having your own home provides.
Seek out experienced real estate agents in the suburbs you have fallen in love with in your search through FindMy® Real Estate Agent. This is the best platform for people looking to connect with real estate agents who specialise in their chosen suburbs. Whether you are selling or buying a house you will find the right real estate agent for your situation.