Buying your first home is an exciting first step into a new stage of life. Yet as you’ll probably be feeling a mixed bag of emotions, it helps to have a good overview of how the whole process is going to look. So we’ve put together five tips for those entering the market for the first time.
We hope this will give you a good overview of what to expect from the different stages of buying.
Steps for first home buyers
1. Research all you can
While a real estate agent will give you the basic details of a property, it’s well worth taking the time to find out as much extra information as you can. This could include:
- A title search: information held by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) will give you records about the property and any rights and restrictions that may be held against it
- The Land Information Memorandum: this is a comprehensive report provided by the local council with important current and historical information about the property.
- A property inspection report: a qualified property inspector will be able to give you a full run down on the condition of the property. They can be found at the Building Officials Institute of New Zealand website.
2. Get legal advice
As you’ll be pouring your hard earned savings into a property, it’s vital to get legal advice before signing any papers. The buying process can be fast moving and tricky to navigate so we strongly recommend engaging a lawyer to guide you through it all.
3. Know the process
There are several different ways properties can be purchased. This includes:
- Auction: an open price where buyers bid against each other for a sale price
- Advertised price: a process where buyers can make an offer at any time
- Buying by tender: where prospective buyers make confidential written offers to the real estate agent
- Buying by deadline: where a property is marketed for a set period with an advertised end date
4. Understand the purchase agreement before signing
The sale and purchase agreement you make is legally binding so it’s vital to understand it and get any legal advice you feel you may need. While you can negotiate the terms and conditions, once you sign there’s no going back.
5. Speak the language
The housing market is filled with different jargon and terminology, all of which can be a little hard to follow if you’re not familiar with the world of real estate. Have a look at this glossary if there’s anything you're unsure of.
These tips are all part of the fun of finding your first property. So get hunting - before you know it you’ll be sailing away on the buyers journey.