Home Advice for Newlyweds: Tips for Buying Your First Home

You’ve just married the person you want to be with for the rest of your life. Now, you’re ready to settle down and maybe start a family. For most people, that means buying your first home. Buying a home will be the biggest investment you’ve made since you bought one of the most beautiful engagement rings in Brisbane and planned a huge wedding. As such, you want to get it right the first time. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Hire a dynamite realtor

The first step is hiring the right real estate agent, which is more important than you might realize. A good agent will be on your side, helping you identify legal necessities or problems with the home that your inexperienced eye won’t catch.

Many newlyweds consider buying a home without a real estate agent to save money. However, this can be a costly mistake. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re likely to overpay for a property or purchase a home that’s desperately in need of repairs. You’ll spend much more on a bad home than you would on a real estate agent, so ask around for recommendations on a good one.

Don’t forget the closing costs

When saving up for a new home, always factor in the extra costs paid at closing. Alongside your down payment, which ranges from 3.5 to 20 percent of the home price, you’ll owe fees to your mortgage lender, realtor, real estate attorney, title insurance, appraisal, home inspection, escrow account, credit bureaus, and more.

You can do some of the legwork on your own to reduce the fees, but some things should be handled by a professional. For example, don’t skip the conveyancer. This individual will officiate the transfer of the title from the previous owners to you, which is something you don’t want to mess up. Fees for conveyancing in the Gold Coast are reasonable, and their legal expertise is well worth the cost.

Don’t go too big

If you’re planning to start a family in the next few years, it’s smart to purchase a home bigger than your current needs. However, don’t be caught up in the allure of a 2,500 square foot house with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and an acre of property. You might be able to afford the asking price, but do you really want to take care of that much house right now? It’ll take you two hours just to mow the lawn every week, not to mention the time you’ll spend cleaning bathrooms.

Consider your needs now and in the next five years. Most homebuyers start with a two-three bedroom house that’s 1,500 square feet or less. Remember that you can always move if your family expands beyond the limits of your current home.

Consider the resale

Since your first home will likely be a starter home, don’t make a purchase unless it’s a good prospect for resale. Real estate naturally appreciates over time, but it takes time. If you move out of your house within the next five years, you risk losing money on your investment. For example, if you buy a house that’s worth $5,000 less than what you paid for it, there’s no guarantee you can sell it for the same price in five years. You might end up eating that extra investment.

Currently, homes that have the best resale value are 1,500-2,000 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Other amenities like an updated kitchen and bathrooms also increase with the resale value. It’s okay to purchase a fixer-upper as long as you will actually do the work required to make it an attractive home. You also shouldn’t overspend on the original asking price or the updates, or you’ll lose money.

Home ownership is an exciting journey, but you’ll only enjoy it if you’re careful during the beginning stages. Research the process and real estate market carefully to ensure a great experience now and in the future.

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