Advice for first time buyers looking to buy in a hot market

First time home buyer

If you are a first- time buyer, you probably have questions about what to consider when buying a property in the hot market that we are currently experiencing. We interviewed Director, Kiri Barfoot who shared the following top tips, tricks and advice for first-time buyers.  

It's a seller's market rather than a buyer's market - planning and preparation is key! 

First-time buyers need to be aware that it is a seller's market so much patience is required on their part during the search process. This is not what people want to hear but sacrifices need to be made in order to get yourself to the point where you can afford your first home. Accommodation costs can be one of your biggest expenses. Having flatmates to help you with rent, living in a cheaper property /area, and possibly moving back in with Mum and Dad (if you can) will increase your ability to get over the line. Once you reach the point that you have a deposit, be realistic with your expectations - especially given recent trends. Know that your first home will likely not be a palace or centrally located. Remember this is just a stepping stone to your next place.

Check and recheck the finer details during a property inspection

When looking for a property in your price range there are certain things that you do not want to overlook. For instance, if you walk into a home where there are lots of scented candles and air fresheners, or sometimes fresh paint, the owners could be trying to mask an offensive odour which can be a sign of something seriously wrong. In fact, it is a great idea to see if you can see the house right after a heavy rain to look for leaks and dampness. If you can, look under carpets and under sinks, and look up at the ceiling for water damage or signs of dampness and mould. If things feel “spongy” under the carpet then it could be absorbing water creating a health hazard or expensive water damage. Also, be careful with plaster homes as they are harder to insure and can take longer to sell. 

Have your finances in place before you start looking for a property 

When getting ready to buy you need to make sure that you are agile and able to move quickly. Have your deposit sorted and your financing in place. Most first time buyers are not in a position to make unconditional offers. Be aware that it could take up to three weeks for a bank to approve your purchase. This means that there is a possibility that a property could slip through your fingers while you wait. While this can be a heartbreaking development if you are excited about a particular home, it is a reality. You need to mentally keep your spirits up and start the process again. I highly recommend staying in touch with salespeople so you are front of mind should a property present itself in your price range.

Final thoughts? 

  • For first home buyers, knowledge is power. If you cannot afford to do things like professional builders reports and the like then surround yourself with knowledgeable friends and relatives. You can arrange for a tour with someone who is an amateur tradie that knows what red flags look like inside and outside a home. 
  • If you do miss out on a property, know that there will always be another one so don’t get discouraged.
  • Don’t buy more house than you can afford, a one-bedroom unit may be more realistic than a four-bedroom home.
  • Be willing to purchase in an area you may not have considered even though it is not your dream location. Remember this is your first home, not your dream home.

Should you be interested in purchasing your first property, please feel free to get in touch with one of our salespeople.