Owning your own place is the ultimate goal. But you know what? It isn’t easy. You need to be on the ball and know exactly what you are getting into.
Here are my top 5 tips from my own personal experience.
# 1 You need way more money than just the deposit!
It’s easy to just think about the deposit, that magic number of 10 or 20% can become something to be obsessed with. Working hard, cutting the spends and being frugal all help to get towards that goal. But oh god you need way more money than that! There’s furniture to buy, legal costs, removal costs, painting and decorating. There are heaps of extra expenses that you don’t really think about, but they can bite pretty hard!
#2 The photos are always deceptive.
Not a shocker, but totally true. Far too many times to count I wasted a Saturday morning looking at a house that looked fab in the pictures and horrific in reality! Estate agents will take photos from all the good angles; meaning you don’t see that large patch of damp or that awful bathroom suite until you have laid eyes on it in person. It’s frustrating, but you know what? It’s a positive thing, you will be more confident when viewing other properties and get a sense of the home you really want to own!
#3 You will know the right house!
Sounds a little cheesy but when you know, you know! I knew the second I walked in; I just got an amazing feeling and it ticked all the boxes. Good area, great transport links and some awesome restaurants and cafés nearby. Of course, you need to make sure everything checks out but definitely trust your gut.
#4 You will need to be super organized.
There will be heaps to organize, so grab that planner and start making notes. You will need to arrange viewings, mortgage advice, packing, lawyers and the rest. Start early and chase people regularly for a response; don’t be afraid to get on the phone to get stuff sorted! Be pro-active; the sooner things progress the sooner the keys will be in your hand.
#5 It’s incredibly stressful.
Purchasing a property is really stressful; I had to get all sorts of reports and then needed to renegotiate the price, so what should have been a straightforward transaction soon dragged out. People can get wound up when there is so much money involved, but stick with it and keep the end goal in sight.
It is a lot to take on board and a major life event, but you know what, it’s totally worth it; that feeling of closing the door behind you knowing you own you own home is hard to beat. Obviously, the responsibility is unreal; the mortgage needs to get paid and if anything goes wrong you can’t just simply turn to your landlord to sort it out, but finally getting on the property ladder will be a total game changer.
By Catherine Murphy