Buying Your First Home

Buying a house is often one of the biggest purchases you will make, it is a time of great excitement but it may also be terrifying, particularly if it is your first home.

There are some important things to consider when you are buying a home including finance, searches, insurance as well as making sure everything is completed by the required dates.

When it comes to your finance, whilst it is helpful to have pre-approval before signing a contract it is not a requirement. Your contract may be subject to you obtaining finance for the purchase. For a contract to be subject to finance there are three (3) questions that must be answered: Who your finance is through (often it will simply say Buyer’s Choice), how long do you have to obtain finance as well as the amount of finance required (often this will say sufficient to complete). If one of these three questions is not answered your contract may not be subject to finance.

Once you have found your dream home, you should consider whether you have any specific concerns and undertake searches to help prevent concerns popping up in the future as well as obtaining building and pest reports. You may wish to consider whether you will be able to build the double bay shed you had envisioned in the backyard or whether you can dig in a certain location to install a pool for the kids. Other searches you should consider are council approvals (making sure all buildings and extensions are approved by council), rates and water (to ensure all accounts are up to date) as well as sewerage and drainage maps (to ensure you can build/dig where you wanted).

Generally, the property will be at the buyers risk from the first business day after the contract date. This means that whilst the sellers may still reside in the property, you should have the property insured. Many financiers have their own requirements with respect to insuring the property and will often need to be noted on the insurance prior to settlement.

A common misconception is that if you are buying your first home you will not be required to pay stamp duty. This is not always the case, depending on the value of the property and whether you will reside in the house for the first 12 months (or build on the vacant land in the first 2 years) will decide whether you are exempt from stamp duty completely or how much stamp duty will be payable.

Purchasing a home is exciting, but it is stressful. It is a good idea to have a local team that you trust to help you through the process and who will put your mind at ease (especially coming up to settlement).

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