Before you begin searching for your home, it is helpful to know what you can afford to pay comfortably in loan repayments. This will govern the total amount that you can pay for your home and will narrow down your search from the outset.
Once you have worked out what you can afford to pay for a house, you can begin your search.
The first thing to do is to learn about the market. The more you know about local real estate values and prices, the better informed your final decision will be.
Consider how far your preferred neighbourhood is from where you work, how far you are willing to travel each day, and your lifestyle. If you have children (or intend to have children in the future), check out local schools. You might also want to consider the location of public transport, parks and medical facilities.
If you don’t know the area well, spend some time exploring. Walk and drive around in daylight and then again at night.
Get a feel for the distance to the nearest shops and recreation facilities.
Remember to do your homework. Go to as many auctions and open for inspections as you can. Study the auction results regularly so that you get a clear understanding of prices in the area.
Talk with local real estate agents and let them know of your interest. However, when you are dealing with real estate agents, keep in mind that they are working for the vendor, not the purchaser (you), and it is in their interest to get the highest possible price for their client.