Buying a home for the first time can be both exciting and scary. There are a lot of things to think about, and some things you may not be prepared for. This quick guide will help you to feel a little more like you know what you're doing.
Step One: Decide on a budget. You will probably need to get a bond to pay for your home. Work out before you start looking how much you can afford to pay monthly towards the bond. You may need to pay a deposit as well, though if you are a first time home buyer you should be able to get a 100% loan. It's no use wasting your time looking at houses that you can't afford.
Step Two: Decide on the area you'd like to buy in. This decision may be influenced by your budget. Remember, it's better to buy the smallest house in a good area than the biggest house in a run-down area.
Step Three: Start looking. You could contact a couple of estate agents in the area and have them show you houses in your budget range. You can also look in the papers and property magazines for houses for sale in the area. It's also a good idea to visit show houses, where you can get an idea of what the properties in the area are like, and maybe find your dream home.
Step Four: Make an offer. When you find the right house at the right price, it's time to make an offer to buy.
Step Five: Get your bond. Whether you approach a bank or mortgage company directly or work through a bond agent, you should shop around to find the best rates and flexible packages.
Step Six: Transfer. The transfer period can take a while, and this is where many costs come in that you didn't think about. While you're waiting for this to happen, you can start sending 'Change of Address' letters to creditors, insurance companies and other people who will need to know your new postal address. You can also make arrangements to have your telephone line transferred or close your account.
Step Seven: Move in! You should have gone to the municipal offices in advance to arrange for the electricity and water to be transferred into your name, or opened an account if the sellers are having it cut off. You may also want to arrange in advance for a telephone line to be installed, or transferred into your name. Book a moving company well ahead of time - shop around for good rates, and ask for references. Make arrangements for your children and pets to be looked after on moving day.