Buy a Home

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. That’s why it’s important to be well prepared before you start the process.

Consider the following:

  • your income and financial commitments
  • preferred location or neighbourhood
  • local market conditions
  • the nature of the purchase ie an investment property or your home

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.

No matter what kind of home you’re looking for, there are some key features to consider. There are large townhouses or apartments and small family homes, so looking for what you want in a home is as important as the type of building.

Where will you spend most of your time? Should you aim for a large kitchen, living area or outside entertaining area? Or all three?

How many bedrooms do you need? Do you have lots of visitors?

Is one bathroom enough or do you need more?

These are just some basic questions? Each home has its advantages and disadvantages and no two buyers have the same wants or needs. The best way to evaluate which home is right for you is to consider what you must have and what you can live without.

There are a number of resources you can use to find a home, including:

  • Newspapers and real estate publications - check the houses for sale sections in daily newspapers or look out for real estate magazines that focus on your preferred area.
  • The Internet - visit real estate websites such as www.realestate.com.au or www.domain.com.au.
  • Word of mouth - ask friends and family.
  • Real estate agents - talk with real estate agents in the area; when choosing a real estate agent, make sure that they have Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) accreditation.

Don’t buy on impulse, consider all the facts carefully. Return and take a more critical look at the property. Visit on different days and times, chat with locals and look beyond the surface.

Closely check the:

  • Exterior
  • Roofing
  • Foundations
  • Driveway
  • Paths
  • Landscaping
  • Fences
  • Garage / carport
  • Windows
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Appliances
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Storage areas
  • Ventilation
  • Sunlight
  • Privacy
  • Views

If you think you have found the property for you it may be worthwhile to pay for a professional inspection to check potential problem areas.

Variable interest rates, comparison rates, mortgage offset, stamp duty, Lenders Mortgage Insurance, redraw – what do they all mean? It can be overwhelming. Speak to a Geelong Bank loans specialist who will not only guide you through the process and help select the home loan right for you, they will ensure you have a clear understanding of your obligations.

Once you have signed a contract to purchase your home, it’s time to think about protecting your assets with insurance.

Our Lending Solution includes obligation-free quotes on any home and contents insurance through our insurance partnership with a very reputable and experienced mainstream provider.

You should also consider protecting your loan by taking insurance that helps protect your income, family and assets should you become sick, lose your job or death. Ask our lending specialist about Mortgage Protection Insurance.

The information here is a guide only. To find out more about Geelong Bank home loans, visit your local branch, call 1300 361 555 to speak with a consultant.

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