TIPS FOR FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS

  1. Start saving for down payment early.
  • Get a down payment calculator to help you land on a goal amount. You can set up an automatic savings plan and use an app to track your progress.
  1. What is your budget?
  • Before you start looking for your dream home, you need to know what’s actually within your price range. Use a home affordability calculator to determine how much you can safely afford to spend.
  1. Once you’ve saved for your down payment and budgeted for closing costs, you should also set aside some money to pay for what will go inside the house. This includes furnishings, appliances, and any other touches you’ll want to have when you move in.
  2. Check out the developer
  • Check out your seller. If it is a developer, have they done any existing developments? If they have not, do they have all the approvals required?
  1. Consider what type of property to buy
  2. Hire the right buyer’s agent
  • You’ll be working closely with your real estate agent, so it’s essential that you find someone you get along with well. The right buyer’s agent should be highly skilled, motivated and knowledgeable about the area.
  1. Pick the right neighborhood
  • Location is everything. Finding the right neighborhood is just as important as locating the right house. Research the schools, even if you don’t have kids, since that affects a home’s value. Look at local safety and crime statistics. How close are the nearest hospital, pharmacy, grocery store and other amenities you’ll use? Also, drive through the neighborhood on various days and at different times to check out traffic, noise and activity levels.
  1. Buy a home for tomorrow
  • Don’t just look at your current needs. Consider your future needs and wants and whether this home will suit them.
  1. Be prepared to compromise
  • It’s rare to find a house that’s perfect in every way, so think carefully about what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not.
  1. Visit the site before you commit to buying the property. Whether you are buying it off-plan or buying a house that is under construction, or a ready one, you need to see it before you make any payment.
  2. Do your homework
  • Due diligence is getting your documents looked at by professionals. Get a lawyer to do a search, to ensure that the property is free from any obstructions.
  1. Check out the developer
  • Who is selling the property? If it is a developer, have they done any existing developments? If they have not, do they have all the approvals required?
  1. Don't be afraid to walk away from a bad deal. There will be other properties, maybe even better ones. Remember that this is a financial transaction and that your terms must be met.