There is a ton of things to think about when choosing your first home. From understanding all of the costs involved in buying a house to navigating the mortgage application process and figuring out interest rates, purchasing your first property can be a stressful process.
Then there’s the actual house searching. Affordable houses for first-time buyers might seem like a good deal when you’re viewing properties, but you need to be certain that the home not only suits your budget but also your lifestyle. Plus, you’ll want to keep any short- to medium-term goals you might have (like expanding your family, for example) in mind.
Whether you go for an old fixer-upper or a new-built house, there are a few things that you should take into account when house hunting.
There’s a reason why you’ll hear the mantra ‘location, location, location’ a lot when looking for a home. Location is one of the most important criteria when choosing your home as it will have an effect on a variety of factors that might affect your quality of life. Plus – unlike the number of bedrooms or bathrooms – it’s something that you can’t change unless you choose to move. Broadly, here are a few things to tick off your list.
When considering your house location, ask yourself five key questions about the place:
Answering these questions will help you to imagine what it might be like to live in the area where you’re house viewing.
Another thing to think about – as unpleasant as it might be – is crime. Do a bit of digging about crime rates in the area to ensure that you’ll feel safe and secure in your new home. This has the added benefit of helping you figure out whether you’ll need to install home security systems or whether you can go without them.
Here's a quick and simple tip:
Go for a drive and take note of the neighbourhood, as well as whether you see families and children around.
Once you know where you’d like to live, you need to consider how you want to live. A compact lock-up-and-go might be great if you travel often, but you’ll likely want more space if you spend your leisure time entertaining friends and family at home.
It’s important to understand your needs before you start house hunting. If you work from home and need an extra bedroom to function as a home office, you don’t want to fall in love with a charming cottage that doesn’t have the space and can’t be expanded.
Be wary of going too big, either. A grandiose house filled with friends and family might be a lovely thought, but the more bedrooms, bathrooms, and square metres your property spans, the bigger the initial price tag and ongoing costs will be. Cheap houses for first-time buyers usually have a balance between being functional and fanciful.
Things to think about before starting the house hunt:
Once you've considered your location and lifestyle choices, you’ll want to make sure that the homes you’re looking at will be easy to alter should you need or want to.
Many first-time buyers fall into the trap of overlooking how liveable a home is before moving to purchase it. While a place with ‘good bones’ is great, it may not be in your budget to take on any renovations for quite some time after you move in.
Regardless of the size and layout of the home you’re looking at, it’s important to ensure that you’ll have enough space to keep all of your stuff. While this might not seem like a big deal, having cabinetry installed can quickly become expensive, so it’s good to pay attention to what the homes you’re looking at have. And what you might want to add.
Small details can make a big difference in how a home feels. Things like cupboards and door handles are easy and inexpensive to change. Taps, countertops and sanitary ware not so much. So it’s good to keep this in mind when you’re looking at properties.
Imagine moving into your dream home and discovering that it needs to be rewired – or that the showers need refitting. To avoid both unnecessary hassles and burning a hole in your pocket with additional costs for fixtures, keep an eye out for the following:
Everybody wants to live in a home they can be proud of. But it can take a lot of time, money, and effort to keep a home in tip-top condition. Ask yourself these questions:
Identifying what’s important to you – and what’s not – will make it easier to decide on where to start the search for your dream home.
Once you’ve narrowed down your criteria and have an idea of the location and type of home that will be best for you, remember to keep liveability in mind. While home renovations might be fun to do, you’ll likely want a little break after all of the stresses of purchasing your first place and moving in.
No matter where you are in your buying journey, Glenveagh’s first-time buyer hub has all of the information you need to turn your dream home into a reality.