Once you have got everything in place ready for your first house purchase, it is time for the exciting part of actually finding and buying your home.
Finding a house
It is important to take your time when you are buying your home and don’t be tempted to jump for the first one you see. Before you start looking in earnest make a list of the sorts of things you want in a house – including anything non-negotiable. Think about the areas you like and what your budget is.
Local newspapers are a good place to look for house listings and most estate agents also list houses for sale online either on their own websites or on sites like Trade Me. These online listings usually include photos of the property and increasingly a video with a tour.
Most listings will also have open home times when you can go and look round. This is a good opportunity to really get a feel for the house and see what sort of space it offers you and see what the area is like. If a house you like doesn’t have an open home you should be able to arrange with the real estate agent to view it.
Some people choose to list their house privately in which case you will need to liaise directly with the vendor.
When you visit a property:
- take your partner or if you are buying alone take a family member or friend to help you look
- try to ignore the decor and look at the bones of the house – you can change the decorations!
- look at both the inside and outside of the property including garages and gardens
- look around the local area as well
Making an offer on a house
When you are looking for a home you might see lots of different pricing options. The most common options for buying your home include:
Auction: at an auction sale all potential buyers meet on a set date and bid for the property. Most vendors will have a reserve price which is the minimum for which they hope to sell. If that price is not met they may negotiate with interested parties after the auction.
Deadline sale: in a deadline sale, all offers must be received by a set date. Offers are then presented to the vendor at the same time for them to decide on. However some vendors reserve the right to sell beforehand.
Tender: similar to a deadline sale, tenders are presented to a vendor at the same time. Tender sales often include a specific document that must be completed by the buyers.
Buyer Enquiry Over (BEO) or Asking Price: these sales give you a price to aim for when you are making an offer. Offers can usually be made at any time and considered by the vendor. BEO gives you an indication of your minimum offer while asking prices are around what the vendor will be expecting.
Once your offer has been accepted you will sign a contract. Most standard sale and purchase agreements have a number of conditions that will need to be fulfilled before you go unconditional.
Before you go unconditional when buying your home – get the right experts to help you
Before you go unconditional on your sale, you’ll need to fulfil a number of conditions. You will need a range of experts to help you with these. Things that will need to be sorted out include:
Getting the title and LIM for the property – your lawyer will be able to help you with this.
Sorting out your finances – if you have prepared well you will already have spoken to your bank or a financial advisor or mortgage broker to arrange your deposit and sort out your mortgage.
Insurance – you will need to make sure you have insurance in place in time for the settlement date
Pre-purchase inspection – a pre-purchase inspection is usually part of the standard building report clause in the conditions of your sale. If it isn’t, then ask for it to be. A building inspection will highlight any issues with the property both inside and outside. These may be minor or could be a reason to pull out of the purchase.
InnoHome offer prompt and thorough pre-purchase inspections
While you can employ anyone to do your pre-purchase inspection it is best to get it done by a professional and experienced building inspector. They will know what to look for and will have specialist tools required to carry out things such as non-invasive moisture testing as part of the house inspection.