When starting out on your journey to buy your first home, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. It’s a big thing and something you’ve never done before – you’re nervous, scared and excited all at the same time. 

Along the way, there are a few things that you need to be sure to remember, especially if you want to avoid any surprises.

Get pre-approved

Before you start dreaming of the home you want to buy, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for your mortgage. This may also be the time that you confirm how much of your Kiwisaver fund will be available for you to use. By doing this before visiting open homes, you will know what or where you can purchase and how much you can spend. It will also help you to avoid the disappointment when you find the perfect home but realise that it’s out of your price range. 

Get in touch with a financial advisor.

Know the costs

Aside from the obvious cost of the home, there will always be other things that you will need to pay for. These aren’t hidden costs, just some that you might not think of. Before you go unconditional (confirm that you are buying the home and pay your deposit) on a home, you will need to provide your mortgage provider with various reports that they request of you as a first home buyer which may include a valuation, building or LIM (Land Information Memorandum) report. You will also need to hire a solicitor. These things all cost money but they’re unavoidable costs when purchasing a property. They also make sure that you can sleep soundly knowing you have done thorough checks.

You may end up needing to outlay costs for multiple properties if you are not successful in buying the first one you make an offer on so just keep this in mind.

Be realistic

We’re not saying that you have to buy the first home you see, you will just need to be realistic when it comes to your must-have list. Make lists of non-negotiable features that you do or don’t want in a home, then a list of the features that would neither make nor break a deal. Like, if you think that your first home must have four bedrooms with three bathrooms and a pool, you probably won’t find what you’re looking for. But, if you’re more realistic and your must haves are things like a dishwasher or a separate toilet, you’ll have more chance of getting what you want. It’s about needs vs wants.

Gaze into the future

When you are looking for a home, look beyond the ugly curtains or torn carpet and see what could be there with a little work and some great ideas. See the potential in the home you’re buying but also remember that renovations and cosmetic work around the home do cost time and money so make sure you don’t over commit!

Also think about how long you might want to be in the home – will it still be perfect when you buy a dog, have a baby? This will help you to decide whether this is the perfect home or the perfect right now home and how much effort and money you are willing to part with in order to bring it to a standard you’re happy with.

Get a team together

There are a lot of people involved in buying a home, not just you and the current owners. You will need to surround yourself with the right, helpful people to make the journey as smooth as possible. On top of your financial advisor, your building inspector and your solicitor, it’s a great idea to get in touch with a real estate salesperson. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be the one selling the home you are looking at, they just need to be one that will listen to your needs and wants to assist you in finding you your very first home. Finding your first home should be fun and exciting and with the right team around you, it can be.

Find an EVES salesperson here.