Home Buyer Checklist

  • Posted 28 Aug

Home Buyer Checklist

There are many steps involved when it comes to buying a home, particularly if you are looking to purchase a new home or it’s the first time you’re buying a home.

To help navigate through this process, here are some of the steps involved in buying a new home.

10 Steps for Buying a Dream Home

  1. Before you do anything, you need to complete some due diligence on the home you’re looking at buying. Check to see how many previous owners there were, is there any major construction that has been done in the past, any issues that the current owner isn’t forthcoming with? Your real estate agent should be able to answer these questions for you, but you can also complete your own due diligence by having a builder take a look at the place as well as checking local council records for any building consents applied for.

  2. You should do some research about the area your dream home is located in. You should probably have already completed an initial research, but now it’s time to dig a little deeper. What’s the neighbourhood like after hours? Does the street get a lot of car traffic? Are the neighbour’s noisy? What’s close to your new home in terms of amenities? Do you catch public transport to work? How far away are bus stops/train stations/trams etc from your home? These are things you need to look at before signing on the dotted line.

  3. Finance. Now is the time to check in with your home lender and make sure that you still have pre-approval in place and that you can afford your mortgage repayments going forward. It’s also a good time to look at what sort of debt you have in place and whether this can be consolidated into your home loan. Talking to a mortgage broker is a good way to ensure that you get the best deal on your mortgage.

  4. Depending on the sale of the property, you might be able to make an offer or need to bid at auction. If you’re making an offer, ensure that all your finance is approved and you’re set to go based on your due diligence and research outcomes.

    If you’re going to auction, make sure you have the banks approval and you know what your limit is. Auctions can be a very stressful time, so if you feel that you’re emotions might run away from you, have someone else bid for you (ie your real estate agent) – they can stick to your budget and there is no danger of you going overboard.

  5. Paperwork. You should have already initiated the paperwork process by getting pre-approval. Once an offer you put in is accepted, you need to finalise all of this information. You need to get the bank to finalise your finances and your lawyer to look over the final contract between you and the seller. You also need to ensure that you understand what happens if you’re finance falls through or something else doesn’t pan out, such as a building inspection report.

  6. Insurance. Before your loan can be approved, you’ll need to make sure that you have adequate building insurance in place. If you’re buying an apartment, unit etc, you’ll need to obtain a certificate of currency from the body corporate insurer. You’ll also need to notify your current home and contents insurer about your intention to move plus any other insurance policies that you might have in place in your current home. At Australian Credit and Finance, we can help you with any of your insurance needs.

  7. Pest Inspections. While the final paperwork is being completed on your loan, you need to ensure that the home you’re looking to buy doesn’t have any other issues, such as pests, that may affect the overall value of the property. Now is the time to complete full pest and building inspections.

  8. Once everything has been approved, such as your finance, building and pest inspections are ok and your solicitor has reviewed and signed off on the documentation, you can now sign an ‘unconditional’ contract. From here, the settlement process can take up to six weeks to complete, depending on the terms of your contract. You are liable from this point forward to pay any outstanding amounts for the home.

  9. Sign mortgage documents. This is the time to sign off on all of your paperwork, ensuring that your solicitor has looked over them. Other things will also be set up, such as direct debits, credit cards etc, anything associated with the loan. The lender will then begin the process of preparing your loan for full settlement.

  10. Pay and settle the house. You’ll be required to pay stamp duty at this point. If you’re a first home buyer, you may receive full or partial exemption from this. Once the house settles, you become the legal owner of the property and can move in!

If you need any help with pre-approval or would like to talk to someone about your finance and insurance options for buying a home, contact us at Australian Credit and Finance today.

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