Purchasing a house can be a lifelong financial commitment, and is not a decision to be made lightly.
Unfortunately due to many of the barriers facing potential home buyers, especially those purchasing for the first time, it can be easy to rush into things when the right opportunity seems to arise. This can lead to a lifetime of headaches and regret, as buying a house should never be done with conducting proper, thorough research first.
Here are some tips on avoiding the most common and dangerous shortcuts when buying a house.
Don’t skip the property inspection
One of the most costly errors you could make when purchasing a home is skipping out on the property inspection.
While it’s understandably tempting to want to get your hands on a property as soon as possible, getting the experts in to do an inspection could save you thousands down the track. They’ll be able to let you know of any structural issues, termite infestations or asbestos present that could turn your dream house into a nightmare.
Conduct thorough market research
When purchasing a house you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, and conducting market research is the best way to go about this.
Some important things to look into are the median house prices in the area, especially for homes that are similar. Every homebuyer has their own needs, so make sure you know what your non-negotiables are. Don’t forget to think long into the future too, as the local high schools or access to public transport may not affect you or your family now but this may change down the track. House-hunting websites like realestate.com.au or Domain can help you through this process.
Some other things to look into are capital growth and supply and demand, especially if you’re considering an investment property.
Research local zoning restrictions
Many people purchase a home with plans to expand on it with renovations in the future. However, you need to know if this is even an option. Local zoning restrictions that govern things like the total square feet of a building compared to the lot size could put a damper on these plans.
These types of things are non-negotiable, so the last thing you want to do is spend a heap of money on a house or hiring an architect before realising your dreams are unachievable.
Get pre-approved for a home loan
Getting a pre-approval for a home loan means that you are conditionally approved for a mortgage of up to a certain amount. This means that you can go house-hunting knowing that you will be able to get a home loan, and what range your budget should be.
While researching the property market is important, researching the home-loan market is just as critical. While the rate you get all depends on factors such as your credit score and income, you still need to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible for your circumstances.
Know the house’s history
Having in-depth knowledge of the history of the house you’re interested in purchasing is another important factor in making the most informed decision possible.
Some things you should research are
- Tax history
- Sales history
- Chain of ownershi
- Changes to square footage
- Previous building inspections
This information will give you insight into just how much you should be paying for the property and how much the upkeep may cost. It can sometimes be difficult to access these types of things, but with the help of your agent and the previous owner, you should be able to find everything you need.