8 September 2023

How to buy a house

| Zoya Patel
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Col McIntyre

Col McIntyre from McIntyre Property is here to help when buying a house. Photo: Supplied.

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions many of us will ever make. But what is the process itself like? What steps do you need to take from start to finish?

Col McIntyre from McIntyre Property takes us through the step-by-step process of buying a house, including what you need to consider when assessing a property.

1. Get your finances in order

The first thing you need to know is how much you can borrow, as this will guide what kind of homes you look at, and what locations you can afford. So set a time to meet with your bank, or with a mortgage broker to get advice.

2. Start the search

Once you have your finances in order, you can start the fun part of looking for a property. It’s a good idea to start by searching online. Do a thorough search for the types of homes you’re looking for in the areas you want to live.

If you find a property you like the look of that is within your price range, call the listed agent and request a contract. This will consist of the building and pest report, energy efficiency report and a compliance report. It’s a good idea to review these documents before going to view the property, so you know what you’re walking into when you inspect the home.

3. Inspect the property

When you inspect the property, you want to assess it based on your family’s needs. Are the living spaces suited to your furniture and lifestyle? Are the bedrooms big enough, and are there enough of them? Does the house fit your current needs, and will it accommodate you as your family grows or changes?

Don’t forget to also look at the property from a practical viewpoint – do the fittings and installed appliances work, are they in good condition, and are there any noticeable repairs needed that could lead to costs down the road?

4. Ask yourself these questions to make sure you’re buying the right property for you

Col also suggests asking some bigger picture questions, to really consider whether the property is right for you.

“You really don’t want to be doing this every two to three years, when you outgrow your home. You want to try and tick as many boxes as possible with your purchase,” Col says.

So ask yourself:

  • Is the location right for your family? Are you near amenities or schools, depending on your needs? What will your commute to work be like, or to see family and friends?
  • If you have children, or want to start a family, consider how the home will support not just the current age of your kids, but also their needs as they grow.
  • Do you have pets, or want pets? If so, how will the home suit them? If you’re looking at a townhouse or apartment, are pets even permitted?

By taking the time to consider all of these aspects, you can find the right home for you for both now and in the future.

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