six useful tools when house hunting

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       

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If you are a first-time home buyer on the hunt for a new house to turn into a home, there are a few handy tools that you can use to make the process smooth and memorable for all the right reasons. The last thing you want to do is to go on a house hunt unprepared. These six tools can help you walk into the process knowing what to do and look for, instead of coming out with searches that yield no results.

To buy or to rent?

The thought of owning your property might tickle your imagination, but is it something that is within your financial reach? Most Australians finance their homes through a home loan, or through the bank of mom and dad to help them secure a house. However, you will need to view your decision in the long run. Will you be able to afford your home loan even if you could find a competitive rate? Buying your dream home in your dream suburb could be costly. In some cases, buying is not always better than renting. One way to go about it is comparing the cost of buying a house and renting to come out with a sound decision.

The numbers don’t lie

Before you hit the ground running, one place to stop at is to get your hands on the recent statistics and sales of the neighbourhood you are planning to buy your house in. A house is a huge investment and you want to know that the property you are planning to pump your hard-earned cash will be able to see you through every stage of your life. If you are not planning to stay in it for a long-time then you will also have to view its potential to sell in future. Your best bet is to find a neighbourhood with the best rental yield and that is also close to good public amnesties. Rental yields are usually calculated using.

The annual rental income divided by the property value which is then multiplied by 100.

Ask the right questions

The house might look perfect and the estate agent might be drizzling sweet words into your ear, but does the house match up to what you are looking for? You can have a question checklist that has the following pointers that you would like to know about such as:

  • How long did the previous owners stay in the house?
  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Are there any pest problems?
  • Has there ever been a burst pipe?
  • How much is the utility bill for the house?
  • How old is the house?
  • Do you have noisy neighbours?

Have a camera in tow

Most phones have a good quality camera that you can use to take pictures when you tour the house. Remember to take pictures of each room to have a picture of where the problem areas are in each room and how you would like to improve it. You could go through the pictures after viewing the house and pick up on something that you could’ve overlooked.

Get a home loan that will make you turn that house into a home

You would not settle for any old house, so why settle for any type of home loan? There are various loans that are available on the market, but by comparing home loan quotes and looking at the home loan features you will be able to find out whether the home loan is suitable for your finances.

How much will you need to buy the house?

Crunching numbers can be challenging. You will need to have an estimate of how much you will need to finance your home, or else you could fall into the trap of insufficiently financing your home. This is where mortgage calculators can play a good role of help you find out how long a mortgage will last, the monthly repayments that are required and the deposit that you will have to pay which will make understanding your home loan easier.

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