6 tips you wish you had known before buying your first property

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Buying a home is a huge step, but there are others who have travelled the beaten path that you are about to take and made a few mistakes. Knowing these mistakes can save you finances that you could possibly lose. Here are six tips that you can hold on as you open the door to your next ‘big’ chapter.

1. Don’t just buy for your current circumstances

Think of your potential home as a long-term investment. You might be single and thinking of convenience, but think of the long-term potential or lack of potential your house might have when it comes to selling.

Before buying a house look at the neighbourhood in which it is situated. The type of neighbourhood can impact your reselling price by 10%. This is where doing your own research will come into play. Also, keep in mind the amenities that it is close to. Does it have good schools, hospitals, roads and shopping centres? These could be a good marketing point when it’s time to sell.

2. Choose something that matches you

The dream of owning a house with a large backyard and luscious landscape with a water feature cascading in the front might be something that makes you all warm and fuzzy, but those feelings can soon be dispelled when it comes to the upkeep of these things. Look at the type of lifestyle you live and your finances when it comes to settling for something. You will have to be realistic and ask yourself if you will be able to maintain it in the long run, or will it become a financial burden.

3. Inspect the property you want to buy thoroughly

Don’t be dazzled by what appears on the surface and rush into signing the papers. Before you even consider putting your name on the dotted line have a thorough inspection of the house for any problems. You can seek professional help through a property surveyor who will help you see things that you overlooked. Consider a pest inspection as a top priority before you move your family into a home that is shared by roaches or rodents.

4. Time is your prized possession

Real estate agents have the gift of persuasion and you could feel pressured by their prospect of ‘This is hot property and could be snatched up.’ If you feel pressed to sign anything in a hurry, stop. Take a step back and breathe. Even if it does get snatched up, you still have time to make an informed decision that won’t end up costing you financially because you were in a hurry. Take your time to shop around and compare, you will be surprised to find great deal are going around at an affordable rate.

5. Do you have adequate financing?

One thing that you will be quick to find out about when buying a home is that it gets expensive. You will need deep pockets to fund your mortgage. Not many Australians have that kind of money upfront which is why most opt for a home loan that can bring thing closer to owning their home.

Before you get lost in the process of finding a home you can buy, you will have to find out if you are eligible for a home loan. Prepare a deposit that is big enough to get your door in the property market door. A general rule of thumb for a reasonable deposit size is 20% deposit.

6. Crunch the numbers

After that, you will have to crunch the numbers for all expenses and fees that come with buying a house so that you can get a home loan that adequately covers your expenses that also cover surprise expenses such as removalist costs, pest inspection reports, stamp duty, and registration fees.

Did you find this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Easily compare home loan options today

We compare home loan options for you so you can be assured you’re seeing the most competitive interest rates available in Australia.