Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

What to Look for as First-Time Buyer

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

What to Look for as First-Time Buyer

Article excerpt

IF YOU'RE looking to buy your very first home there's a lot on your mind.

Here's a cheat sheet to remind you of some of the factors you should be considering.

Some of the more important issues include location, price, amenities and changing needs.

If you're falling in love with a property, it's time to stop and think about these bigger picture questions.

Location

The most important thing to consider so far as location is concerned is proximity to the things that matter most in your life -- your job, friends, family and places you visit regularly.

Many first home buyers have limited finances, as they're in the early stages of a career or they may be trying to buy a property on a single income.

You'll need to consider transportation costs as well as mortgage repayments when budgeting to buy a home.

For example, will living a long way from your job mean that you have to buy a second car? How would that impact your household budget?

Finally, look closely at the lifestyle implications.

There's no point buying miles from cafes if great coffee and cafe atmosphere is important to you.

Price

The basic premise is to buy the best house you can afford.

If you can afford it today, it should be even easier in the future as your income increases (assuming interest rates remain fairly stable).

The best way to calculate what you can afford is to approach your bank and find out what they can do for you.

At the same time, get a second opinion by asking a mortgage broker to find you a good deal.

It's a competitive market and there's lots of great options out there if you ask around and do your homework.

Transport

For those who work out of home, proximity to reliable transport is important.

To be only a short walk from the bus, tram, ferry or train station is not only convenient, but a great selling point to highlight if you live in one of the major capital cities of Australia.

If you're intending to drive to work everyday, proximity to transport may not be as important, but it's still handy (and better for the planet). …

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