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Buying Your First Home

Getting on the Property Ladder

Buying your first home is an exciting but big step, and there is quite a lot to consider. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of things to go through when purchasing a property for the first time.

 

Work out your budget. 

A good place to start is drawing up a budget of what you can realistically afford, factoring any additional expenses to home ownership (see below under Additional costs). Mortgage Express has some useful tools you can use.

 

 

Pre-approval Home Loan.

Before you begin your search, it's important to find out how much money you can borrow.  Once you’ve drafted a personal budget, the next step is to talk to a mortgage adviser about the best home loan on the market for you and the possibility of home loan pre-approval. Pre-approval makes the lending process a lot easier when it does come time to formally apply for a home loan and enables you to bid with confidence at auctions.

 

Our Mortgage Express advisers can help you to secure financing, and share with you a range of home loan products and interest rates, to help you choose an option suitable for you. Brokers work independently from lenders, so they’re able to show you a broad range of home lending options and help you to find the lowest interest rate. Advisers also come at no cost to you, as their fees are paid for by the lender, so you’re able to get independent financial advice at no additional cost.

 

 

Inspecting the property.

It’s vital to do your due diligence before buying a home. This means inspecting the property in person if practical, and ensuring the proper building and pest inspections are carried out. Building and pest inspections do incur a cost, however they ensure there is no structural damage or serious damage from pests, such as termites. Both scenarios can cost you thousands more if left undiscovered until after you purchase your new home.

 

Some contracts can actually be subject to a condition which says a building or pest inspection is to be carried out before settlement. What this enables you to do is ensure an inspection is carried out prior to settlement, and means no other offers are able to be accepted by the sellers during this time.

 

 

Buying at auction.

Doing your due diligence is essential no matter the method of sale, however if the home you are interested in is being sold via auction, you will need to carry out all building and pest inspections before the auction, even in the event you are not the successful bidder. This is because sales by auction are not subject to the usual conditions of sale. You can find out more about the auction process in our guide to buying at auction.

 

 

Additional costs.

Apart from a home deposit and the ongoing cost of mortgage repayments, there are other fees and charges you should be aware of before buying your first home.

  • Lawyers/conveyancing fees  It is a good idea to have a property lawyer look over the contract of sale and mortgage documents before signing a sale agreement. A lawyer can also assist with conveyancing, the process of transferring titles. Fees vary.  
  • Building and pest inspections  As mentioned earlier, it’s definitely worth investing in a one-off building and pest inspection before signing a contract or as part of a condition of sale to ensure your potential home is structurally sound and pest free. 
  • Land Information Memorandum (LIM)  In New Zealand, a Land Information Memorandum or LIM is a search which identifies any issues with the land a property is built on. A LIM will identify things like water drainage issues, or landslip risks. You can order a LIM through your local council or have your lawyer do this for you. 
  • Home and contents insurance  Remember that home insurance is an essential part of the home-buying process. Insuring your home is something that needs to be organised and ready to take effect as soon as you settle on your property, not necessarily the date you move in. So make sure you have looked at your options and chosen the premium that best suits your needs and budget. 

 

There is a lot to consider when buying your first home, but it’s also an incredibly exciting time! Remember to enjoy your new place once you’re settled in, and congratulations on reaching this milestone.