So you were born between the late 70's and the early 90's - Chances are housing affordability and home ownership is at the top of your list of priorities. However, we hear many of you asking how can I get in to the market? - It's too expensive, it's dominated by investors, I'm doomed to renting for the rest of my life. However, the doesn't need to be the case.... Here is how to crack it.
1. What to do if you think you can't buy: The worst thing you can do is make the assumption you can't buy and assume you have to rent. Chances are if you can be approved for a rental agreement, there is a chance you can be approved for a mortgage. Before you count yourself out, collect all of the funds you have that could be used for a deposit. Take note, that you don't need to put all of your equity in to your home. Take a longer mortgage out and take advantage of fixing your interest rate at the current very low levels.
2. Make sure you bring an agent in from the outset: If you want to buy, you need to learn from experts. Agents live and breath the market daily, so call 3 or 4 local agents in the areas you are looking. Stipulate your price range, your must-haves, and your readiness to act. Then let them do their work. Tell them how much contact you want to achieve, if you are specific on only one type of property, tell them that is the only time to contact you.
3. Remember to wait.... It's not urgent: Once you've made the decision to buy, remember that this is something that will take time. There is not a transactional element involved here, but do remember that whilst it most likely is your largest investment, don't be scared. Too many people sit back and wait for the 'Perfect home' which doesn't exist. Speak to people who have been through the process and ask what worked for them, and what didn't. Set up alerts so it doesn't consume your life.
4. Pick the neighbourhood, not the house: Before you start trying to pick a home, drill down on the hard facts of where you want to live. if there are multiple areas, try a map search with multiple suburbs. Before you do this, there is no use in looking at houses. Once you have concluded which areas you want to live in, and have factored in your approved budget you will be working with realistic purchases that are worth you spending your time on. Reading reviews on Homely can help give you insight to these areas.
5. Use the inspection wisely: Most people turn up to an inspection and walk through, for first home owners, because homes are generally small they finish this in 5-10 minutes. If you are serious, start thinking bigger picture. Measure walls, spaces and ask questions. Ideas such as if you can knock walls down, the expected monthly costs associated with a house of that size, and viewing the home with a builder are all ways to ensure you have a plan of attack, not just to live there, but also to add resale value.