How To Find And Buy Your First Home

Without Wasting Time And Money!

Over the past 6 years we've been involved in hundreds of property transactions helping people buy and sell houses, apartments and vacant land, and whilst every sale and purchase is different from the next, we’ve found most buyers make the same mistakes that end up costing them thousands of dollars and a ton of time.

Here are five ways you can reduce the time spent looking for your home AND save yourself thousands in the process.

1. Most people just start ‘looking’ (but you don’t have to be one of them!)

Would you like to know why?
Because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Hoping the right one will just jump out at you. Plus you get excited by the idea of buying a home, like it’s a right of passage, neglecting to treat it like the business transaction that it is. And that’s when all common sense flies out the window.
And if you love giving up the precious little time you have available on the weekend, go right ahead, attend any open home that takes your fancy, look at properties that don’t really suit your lifestyle or better still ones you know you can’t even afford.
But… If you’re looking for a smarter way to approach it, you should always...

2. Know Your Budget

And how much you’re happy to spend.
There is no point looking at homes to buy, when you have no idea how much money the bank is willing to lend you.
I’ve spoken with so many buyers who just assume the bank will lend them whatever they ask for, only to find a place they want to buy and be told by their bank that they can’t have it.
So first things first...
  • Get your finances in order,
  • Have your pre-approval in place and
  • Know exactly what you’re looking for
Because...

​3. A property is ‘worthless’ if it doesn’t suit your needs and wants

​Why waste your time looking at a property when you already know it’s not exactly what you’re after?
​Or worse, something you can’t afford. You’re just making life hard for yourself.
The amount of times I’ve spoken to a home buyer and they’ve said something like, the place was really nice, but we really need 4 bedrooms or we want 2 bathrooms, or we need a garage.
​When these were all features of the home listed on the Ad, they would have known this before attending the open.
​Why do you want to look at a property, if you know there is no chance of you buying it?
​It’s like going car shopping for a family wagon and test driving a convertible. It’s pointless!
​So instead of wasting your time looking at things you don’t want (or want but can’t afford), why not...

4. Focus on what you need

​Here’s what this means….
We all have ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ but people can easily confuse the two when they get emotional about buying (especially if they’ve been looking for a while).
​An example would be
You NEED a 3 bedroom home as you have 2 children and they need to have their own rooms.
You WANT 2 bathrooms as this would make life easier, but for the right place, you’d settle for one.
​Being firm on what you’re willing to compromise on will save you a lot of time and money. You won’t be looking at homes that don’t suit your needs, or paying for features you don’t really want.
And the way you do that is by using…

5. A Checklist​

Create a list of everything you ‘need’ your next home to have. These features are non-negotiables. And what you would like the home to have. These are your ‘wants’.​
Here’s an example​

NEEDS

WANTS

4 Bedrooms

Pool

2 Bathrooms

Cul-de-sac position

Single lock-up garage

Walking distance to schools

Natural Light

Kitchen less than 5 years old

Large backyard

Freshly painted

The list could really be endless.
But... be careful of confusing your needs with your wants and falling into the common trap of creating a list that no house will ever live up to.
Generally speaking, I’ve found if a home can tick all of your ‘needs’ boxes and maybe 5-7/10 of your ‘wants’ boxes, you’re doing pretty good.
WANT TO KNOW THE BEST THING?
​Most of the time this is all information you can get without having to step foot inside the home. You can cull a lot of properties by just viewing them online (which will save you hours of your precious time).
​By performing this simple task of creating your ‘needs and wants’ checklist, before you even start attending open for inspections, you will IMMEDIATELY PUT YOURSELF AHEAD OF EVERY OTHER HOME BUYER.
How?
Because you’ve already identified and filtered out what’s not important to you and every property you view will have been pre-qualified.​