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Beyond the home: What else should you consider when purchasing?

By Andrew Bell

Planning a home purchase? If you’ve found your dream home, you may be eager to sign on the dotted line and close the deal. However, there are other things to consider than the home itself.
What’s your actual budget?

You’ll have to take a good hard look at your income and debt, and calculate the costs and fees of purchasing a home. In addition to your down payment, you’ll have to come up with so-called silent costs. These can include:

  • Loan fees
  • Stamp duty (varies by state)
  • Council rates
  • Conveyancing
  • Inspections
  • LMI (Lender’s Mortgage Insurance)
  • Additional insurance

Your down payment may be only 10%, but the rest of these charges can add up quickly. Talk to your real estate agent to find out what kind of fees you’ll encounter when shopping for a home.

How’s the neighbourhood?

Identifying the neighbourhood you want to live in can be a challenge, especially if you are growing your family. You’ll need to consider your commute (if any), schools (if you have children), transportation options, proximity to shopping and dining and future building plans in the area.

Visit your top neighbourhood choices several times, at different times and different days of the week, to determine what it’s really like. Dig into property profile reports and discover what homes nearby have sold for, and what the market value of your chosen residence might be.

Will there be renovations?

Buying a home that needs some work is fine, as long as you set back some money for renovation costs before buying. Repairs can cost as much again as your down payment, so be prepared to triage tasks and stay within your budget monthly as you remodel.

Can you negotiate?

Never impulse-buy. Buying a home is an enormous financial investment, so you shouldn’t be rushed. If the seller is serious, they can be patient while you crunch numbers and review the results of inspections. Once you have a clear picture of the house’s true worth, you can confidently negotiate from a place of strength top get the best deal possible. Don’t forget you can negotiate terms if the seller won’t budge on price.

Is it a buyers’ or sellers’ market?

If it’s a buyers’ market, you can often offer below asking price then slowly negotiate up, gaining concessions along the way. If it’s a sellers’ market, you may need to come in not just higher than your competition, but also with documentation for your loan ready to go so there are no delays.

Seeking a house, you can turn into a home? Contact Ray White Surfer’s Paradise and we can help you find and purchase the right property to fulfil your needs and desires.

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