10 Tips for Buying Your First Property With Confidence

Buying your first property is often a thrilling experience – and it doesn't have to be a difficult process if you're equipped with sufficient information and have undertaken thorough research. To help you embark on your property search, we've compiled a list of the top 10 tips to help you buy off the plan with confidence.

1. Get your finance in order

Before you even begin your property search, you want to find out how much finance you're able to secure to avoid any disappointment if your funds fall short for your dream property. Secure pre-approval from your bank or mortgage provider and find out which grants and concessions you're eligible for.

2. Set a budget

Since interest rates can fluctuate over time, it's essential to set a realistic budget. For this, you'll need to take into account mortgage serviceability, factoring in things that apply to your circumstances including but not limited to your outgoing expenses compared to your income. Consider planning for any unforeseen costs which may come up once during your property purchasing journey. 

3. Consider the "must-haves" and "nice to haves"

Finding a property that ticks every box is the goal, but often we'll have to compromise on some things, especially when searching with a limited budget. Consider your “must-haves” vs your “nice to haves”. For example, your family needs three bedrooms, a north-facing outlook is important to you and living near your child's school would mean they can walk there. You'd like to find a building with a swimming pool; however, it wouldn't be a dealbreaker if the property didn't have one.

4. Cast the net wide and create a shortlist

When comparing mobile phones, cars or appliances – you spend time weighing up all the options on the market. Which product has the best reviews? The best features? The best brand? Shortlisting properties can involve a similar approach – fill your schedule with display suite viewings and open homes as the more you go to, the more likely you'll be able to create a benchmark of what you're specifically looking for.

5. Ask for a materials list

Go through the materials list with a fine-tooth comb, ensuring you are happy with the products used to craft your new property. This can include everything from tapware and appliances to flooring and paint. Ask what upgrade options are available. 

6. Create an extensive list of questions to ask the sales agent

Worried about asking the sales agent too many questions? When it comes to buying a property, you want to ensure no question is left unanswered, so ask away! Sales agents are used to answering plenty of questions from buyers. A good tip to consider is writing down a list of everything you want to know before visiting the display. 

7. Talk to a range of property experts

Some of the best intel comes from experience, so it can be wise to ask people you know about their experience with buying property. It's always important to form your own opinions as no one person's experience buying property is the same; however, some positive stories from friends and family who have bought a new property previously can help with building confidence for taking the next big step towards homeownership. 

8. Visit previous properties the developer has delivered to get an idea of the quality the developer has previously delivered

Ask the sales agent if they can show you some past properties the developer has delivered. See if you can chat to some of the people who live there and ask if they enjoy living there and whether it was what they expected when they first bought their property off-the-plan. 

9. Visit the location at different times throughout the day

Spending time at the location of your future property can tell you a lot about your unbuilt property. Observe where the sun rises and sets, and check out local amenities. 

10. Grants and Support Schemes

Federal and States Governments may have different grants and financial support schemes available. Government websites will provide further understanding of the criteria for the support available, many of the grants and financial support schemes are geared towards First Home Buyers purchasing new property.

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