Entering the property market for the first time comes with a tidal wave of new information.
From admin to budgeting to a whole new dictionary of real estate lingo—it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed before you’ve even set foot in a prospective home.
But not to worry! First home buying is a well-trod path, and you’re far from the first to take these daunting steps. There is a wealth of insight and experience for you to tap into and the trick is securing that ace support team to help you navigate the course.
We've teamed up with Bankwest to tell you about the experts you should seek out when buying your first home—and how they can help get you a sweet deal.
A good mortgage broker should be able to demystify the financial aspects of buying your first property, including finding the best mortgage deals to suit your circumstances. They should also be able to advise you on available grant programs and the best loan types and features to suit your needs, whether you’re buying an investment property, a fixer-upper or a new build.
Before you sit down with your broker, do a bit of preliminary research on the mortgage market and your personal ‘borrowing power’. Then, when you start your talks, consider these questions as a jumping-off point:
1. What do you think are the best loan packages for my needs and why?
2. What documents and information should I have ready before I start my application, and are there any ways I can speed up or smooth out the application process?
3. How long will it take for a loan to be approved?
4. What are the exact fees involved?
While we all love a bargain, remember the ‘cheapest’ loan isn’t always the best. Consider the specifics of your loan terms to understand whether you’re really getting a ‘sweet deal’. After understanding the basics, you need to ask your broker—and yourself—whether you would benefit from added features, like offset accounts, redraw facilities and so on. The best part? Brokers typically offer their service to buyers for free and get paid by lenders when a loan is finalised so you can get access to their expertise without adding to your long list of home-buying bills.
If you're a Luxe Listings Sydney fan you'll know what a buyer's agent is courtesy of one of the show's leads, Simon. If you don't know what we're talking about, a buyer’s agent essentially helps you look for and secure your perfect property. Sure, a buyer’s agent is an added cost but a good one could save you tens of thousands of dollars so it’s a worthwhile investment.
Good buyer’s agents come with years of experience and in-depth knowledge of property markets and processes. They have relationships with local real estate agents and could potentially get you first-look deals before they even hit the market. They can also help you negotiate the property price and represent you at auction. If nothing else, they can provide mentorship and advice on buying the right property for your needs, for the best cost.
Being good at anything requires practice—and the process of buying property is no different. Those with experience, simply do it better. And for one of the largest purchases of your life, it’s not a bad idea to have a ‘buying expert’ on your side.
Conveyancer or property lawyer
Before you start your property search you should shop around for a good conveyancer or property lawyer. While a conveyancer does not help directly with your home loan and cannot legally provide financial advice unless qualified, they can help you organise your documents and eventually negotiate and arrange your offer and settlement.
A good conveyancer can help point out any red flags in your desired property contract and steer you clear of financial catastrophes down the line.
Other first-home buyers
Consulting the experts is a must but sometimes you need to get past the lingo to really understand the realities of the home-buying process.
Be sure to chat with any friends or family who have recently bought a home, particularly their first home. Don’t have anyone like that? Reach out to communities online to help you get started.
Gathering the experiences of a range of people can help you understand the full scope of costs, paperwork and pitfalls to avoid. While not everybody’s experiences are the same, speaking to other first-home buyers can help you wade through complicated documents and jargon so you can get exactly what you need from the other experts on this list.
While it might seem a little daunting to speak to a lender, it needn't be. To get a mortgage, you'll need to speak to a lender at some stage so you may as well get in early to get all the answers to your burning home-buying questions to empower yourself from the get-go.
Most lenders will happily make time for you—you're a lucrative, potential customer after all—with no obligation for you to sign up to one of the bank's products. So, don't be intimidated by lenders! Reach out, ask questions and expand your knowledge from the lenders themselves.
Feeling ready to start looking for your new home? For all the tips and tricks you need to make that process an absolute breeze, head over here.
Editor’s note: this article was produced in partnership with Bankwest. Thank you for supporting the partners who make Urban List possible. To read our editorial policy, click here.
Image: Urban List.