Buying a home is the great kiwi dream, and for most of us, it’s the biggest purchase we’ll ever make. When it comes to such a big investment, doing your research is essential. We’ve put together the 7 most important steps to help you begin your journey to achieving your dream.
1. Write a checklist
Create a checklist for what you need and what you want in a home. It’s useful to separate your needs from your wants so that you don’t get too carried away! Sit down with your partner and work out your needs – aspects such as size of house, type of house, location to schools and employment, which are just a few examples, as opposed to the things you want – ensuite, spare bedrooms, swimming pool, this will make the whole process of house-hunting much easier.
2. Determine your budget
Work out what you can afford. It’s important to be realistic and keep within your means, so make a careful analysis of your spending and saving needs. You also need to think about any other funds you may need to keep aside for other things. This will help you determine how much you can spend on a mortgage. Most banks have online calculator tools to help you determine what you can realistically afford.
3. Choose the right home loan
Not all home loans are created equal, so it pays to shop around! With interest rates at an all-time low, there are great deals to be had out there, so once again do your research. Each bank will have a range of home loans on offer and they will also have online tools to help you decide which loan is right for you.
We strongly advise clients to use a mortgage broker. A good broker takes all the guess work out of the process by working for you to find the right mortgage for your circumstances. goodGround has had great results from Mike Whittaker Mortgages and we recommend him to our clients time and again. Keep your Whittakers about you!
Once you’ve got pre-approved for the loan which suits you, you’re ready to start looking for your dream home!
4. Red tape – Property inspections and legal advice
Many of us are daunted by these aspects of home buying, but they are essential to protect the huge investment you’ll be making. Property inspections will let you know the pros and cons of a home that aren’t always obvious. Inspections mean that you know exactly what you’re getting when you sign a contract.
Legal advice is also important when purchasing a home, so getting the advice of a solicitor is crucial. They are experts on all the legalese and will be able to guide you through the process.
5. Making an offer
There are two kinds of offer you can make – unconditional offers and conditional offers.
Unconditional offers are when you’re 100% sure that you’ve found the right property for you and want to make an outright offer. This means that if the vendor accepts the offer, you are legally obligated to go through with the sale.
A conditional offer on the other hand is where you make an offer based on a range of conditions which must be met before you are obligated to go through with the sale.
If your offer is accepted, don’t start celebrating just yet! There’s still a couple of steps to go before you can take ownership of your home. Talk to the licenced specialists at goodGround about how we can help you with this process.
6. Finalise your loan
Your lending bank will conduct an independent valuation of the property you intend to buy, in order to work out the final details of your loan. They will engage a third party valuer to determine whether the property is indeed worth the money you are intending to pay. Once this process is complete, the bank will then finalise your loan. The services of your mortgage broker will be worth their weight in gold at this point, as they know all there is to know about this part of the process.
Before you take legal ownership of your home, we recommend that you do a final walk through to ensure that the vendor has left the property as they agreed – that all chattels stated in your contract are still there.
Once you’re happy with the condition of your home, you can take ownership on the agreed date – welcome home!!
Buying a home is one of the most exciting, rewarding and challenging things you will ever do. GoodGround are your real estate professionals who can guide you through the exciting and at times daunting process. This is what we do every day, so we’re well-placed to give you all the best advice you need.
For more information on current properties, or for advice on buying a home, contact the friendly team at goodGround today.