House hunting takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. The idea of being in a new home fills you with anticipation and excitement, until it doesn’t. Negotiating home loans with the banks is a trigger for stress. But, the real danger is if the house hunt drags on fatigue sets it. Then, instead of spending Saturday mornings at auctions you delve further beneath covers and refuse to get up. Not even when your partner brings you coffee and croissants in bed. It’s that serious.
So, how long does it take to buy a house?
Studies across each state indicate that most people take 6 months to buy a house. Some people love house hunting so much they keep at it for two years! If you are a busy person, whether a parent, or working, both, or just living life, then it is reasonable to expect the process to take half a year from beginning to end.
Preparation is key
Avoiding both fatigue and fights is absolutely possible with preparation. The more house hunting is treated with the same respect as a work assignment, the likelihood of getting your new home within time, scope and budget is assured. We’re not saying that you have to create Gantt charts and spreadsheets to get organised, but we’re not not saying that either.
Decide on search parameters
Before commencing the search coming to an agreement with your mortgage partner about what’s required from a property is a wise manoeuvre. Perhaps a written memorandum of understanding will prevent arguments over the next 30 years of repayments. It’s also crucial to have the same conversation within yourself to make sure you go after what you actually want, not want you think you want. Unlike sneakers, you can’t return a house if you change your mind. Break it down decide what your values are: is it large outdoor space, a house designed for entertaining, are period features a must, or is school zoning going to be a deal breaker? Decisions around search parameters remove confusion that comes from too much choice. Decide, focus and save time when you’re browsing the listings on the View website, iOS app or Android app.
Researching a home loan is vital. Most of your income will go towards repayments once you buy. There are big banks, credit unions or private loans to choose from all with different sets of conditions. By all means take the advice of financial planners and accountants but do be mindful of who they are working for: you, or the lenders. realestateVIEW.com.au can even help you find personalised home loan quotes tailored for you in minutes.
Before visiting the banks for a loan pre-approval, have you done the homework? Each person contributing to the loan needs to comfortable that they can meet their obligations without giving up on the things that make life work living e.g. Balinese holidays. Considering that you’ve saved for a deposit then you probably know how much you can take on, but now you need to put on your CSI hat and prove it to the bank manager. They want to meet you in person to find out if you are financially savvy. Like any good detective, gather the evidence to prove your financial wisdom: bank statements, pay checks, credit card repayments and reports from your accountant and financial planner.
The buying strategy is what will stop you overpaying at auction by $50,000. The house has a reserve price, and you should have one too. At auctions, we feed on the energy of the crowd. As humans, we are socially wired to do this. As much as possible, keep your rational hat on and keep your arm firmly planted by your side if the house exceeds your limit. Even if you’re in love with this house, there are plenty more fish in the sea.
Get out of Jail clause
A house is the most expensive purchase you’re ever going to make. Get a building inspection by a qualified tradesman. It can save you thousands in repairs. Just by looking at a house you can’t tell what the issues are. It can cost anywhere from $500-$1000 for a report. It’s like insurance. You don’t want to fork over $1.5 million for a house that will fall to your feet when the summer breeze reaches 5 knots. The report will list things from wiring, comparison against building codes, and so on. We call this the get out of jail clause. If you are smart enough to insert it as a condition of sale, you can walk away if needs be.
In summary, if you are buying give yourself a good six months. Do your homework. Cross t’s, dot I’s.
With a lot of effort and a dash of good fortune you will fall in love with a house and live happily ever after.