6 Questions To Ask Before Buying Your First Home

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Money can seem like the most pressing concern when you’re thinking about buying your first home, but there are lots of other things you should take into consideration before you make any big decisions. Like, how old is the cute one-bedroom apartment you’re looking at, and does its age cause any known issues that you might need to fix eventually? Or, if you want to start a family soon, where’s the nearest school?

There’s a lot to keep track of during this process, but don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed or confused. Below, we’ve made it simple by rounding up some of the most important questions to ask before buying your first home.

Why Is the Owner Selling?

This question may reveal potential issues with the house and it can even give you clues about how much you’ll need to pay and how long you can expect the process to take. If the current owner has already bought a new house, their new house contract might depend on the sale of their existing one, so they might be more willing to accept a lower-than-expected offer. Or, if they’re still looking for a new home, they might be inclined to negotiate or hold out for a higher price.

Are You Eligible for a First Home Buyers Grant?

There are a number of grants, schemes and incentives that can help first home buyers boost their deposit and avoid fees when they take out a home loan through an approved lender like People’s Choice. First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (which will be called the First Home Guarantee as of July 1, 2022), for instance, is a government program that saves first home buyers from having to pay something called Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance, which you normally have to pay if you put down less than a 20 per cent deposit on a house. Since People’s Choice is an approved lender, they can explain the range of grants available to first home buyers. See a list and criteria here and check if you’re eligible.

Do You Need to Inspect a House Before You Buy?

It’s important to organise inspections before you commit to buying a property, as this can tell you a lot about the integrity of the house and how much money you’ll need to spend on maintenance after you buy it. A building inspection will check the structural soundness of the foundations, walls, wiring, plumbing and more. It’s also a good idea to do a pest inspection and a Strata inspection if the property is a unit. Doing these things before you buy could save you money and headaches in the future.

What Are Your Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves?

Make a list of the things you can’t do without, such as the house’s size and its proximity to public transport, as well as all the things you’d like to have, like natural light or a backyard already set up for parties. This will help guide you when you’re looking at houses and can keep you focused if the process ever starts to feel overwhelming. Keep in mind that a lot of the things on your nice-to-have list can be installed or renovated in the future, but must-haves are usually harder to add to a house.

How Much Can You Afford to Spend Renovating?

Your first house might not be your dream house straight away, but you can always renovate it to your liking. Before you commit to buying a house that’s almost perfect, though, calculate how much you’ll realistically need to spend to change it. It can help to set a budget, and your bank will be able to help you calculate how much you’ll need for future and ongoing work. People’s Choice has a Dream Fund savings account that’s perfect for when you’re working towards a specific goal. There’s no monthly administration fee, no minimum opening deposit and you get bonus interest on your balance. It’s a great addition to the First Home Buyer Offer on their Fixed Home Loan Package. If you don’t want to fix your home loan, People’s Choice also offers variable home loans or the option to split your loan. Variable home loans can have an offset account option, which can help reduce the interest you pay.

Where Do You Want to Live in Five Years’ Time?

You might be looking at a house that’s perfect for you right now, but what will you need in the future? If you want to start a family, you should see where the nearest school is and whether you’d be happy sending your kids there. Similarly, if you want to get a pet, you’ll probably need a backyard or at least a big enough space inside for them to live comfortably. Think about how many bathrooms, bedrooms and home offices you’ll need if you want to live with a partner or housemates. You don’t know what the future holds, but consider your life goals and think about it realistically to make sure your dream home is future-proofed.

Discover how People’s Choice can assist you with your first home. See their full range of home loans to find out more.

This article is for information only and is not intended to constitute financial advice. Any views expressed are the views of People’s Choice Credit Union solely. This information must not be relied on as a substitute for financial planning, legal, tax or other professional advice.
People’s Choice Credit Union, a trading name of Australian Central Credit Union ABN 11 087 651 125, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 244310. In this article, People’s Choice Credit Union is referred to as People’s Choice.

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