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How do you know when you’re ready to buy your first home?

By Andrew Bell

The road to owning your first home may have been long, and perhaps you didn't even realise you were on it. But when you start catching yourself perusing real estate listings on your lunch break — and then again before bed — perhaps you're wondering if you are truly getting close to making a commitment and buying your first home. The feeling that you're ready to take on such a weighty responsibility and get on the property ladder is an exciting feeling. You can't help but see yourself in the homes you're scrolling through — but are you really ready for this financial undertaking?

Once you think carefully through these signs that you are really ready, you'll cruise more assuredly down the path to homeownership, pulling up in your very own driveway soon.

Dosh for the deposit
If you really are going to purchase a home, you will need to save or otherwise accrue the deposit. This is typically about 20% of the purchase price.

Saving up for a deposit will take some strategy and commitment. You'll want to create and then live within a budget that allows you to accrue savings. Following a budget over time will require you to improve your financial decision-making and discipline. When you do hit your target — which typically should be at least 20% of the purchase price plus the cost of making the transaction to buy the house — your efforts will impress lenders when you go for a mortgage loan because you can demonstrate financial stability.

Steady paychecks
Even beyond the deposit, having stable employment is essential when you commit to purchasing a house. You'll need to be able to pay your mortgage each month as well as any maintenance costs that arise — be they planned expenses or unexpected costs.

And don't forget — lifestyle expenses ranging from groceries to a holiday will still be there. So you'll want your employment situation to be as concrete as possible.

Master the language
As with any major life event, there is a whole new language surrounding the process of buying a house. And one way to get serious about making that big purchase is to study up on the lingo as well as legal and administrative processes involved in this purchase.

Anticipate costs
In addition to the costs of purchasing your home, you'll need to pay annually for land taxes, body corporate fees, council rates, etc. Knowing about these costs ahead of time so that you can prepare to be able to meet them will save considerable stress down the road.

If you are unsure about the associated costs of owning a home — or any other part of the process — it's essential to do some homework so you can make sure you fully understand. If you're struggling with a particular aspect of purchasing a home, you can also contact any of the trustworthy professionals at Ray White Surfers Paradise; we are always happy to share our knowledge.

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