The best property type for your first home

paper-craft-family-buying-houseWith so many exciting options in the real estate market today, what type of property is ideal for a first-time buyer?

You’ve got your deposit saved. Your bank finance is pre-approved. You’re ready to go.

It’s time to start shopping for your first home.

But the days of virtually all first-home buyers choosing a detached house on land in a new suburban estate are over (although this type of home is still a winner with many).

Homes come in all shapes and sizes today and each type has its own unique benefits and limitations.

Here are your basic options and a few pointers to help you work out what suits you best.

A large detached house on an outer suburban block

This is traditional Great Australian Dream housing. The big modern house in a relatively new estate on your own land with plenty of room for dogs to chase balls, children to play backyard cricket and parents to entertain with wild abandon.

Potential upsides include:

  • Getting a lot for your money – three or four bedrooms, multiple bathrooms and dual garages are the norm;
  • Space – both internal and external;
  • Lots of stock –

Take plenty of time to choose a property that is right for you

home-buying-tips-11-08-2011BUYING your new home is one of the biggest financial transactions you will ever make, yet too many people rush into it with barely a second thought.

One in three people spend about 30 minutes choosing their new home, less time than it takes to watch an episode of their favourite soap opera, according to new research from Ocean Finance.

Fewer than half bother with a second visit to check the property, despite spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on it.

Yet many will regret making a rash decision if serious problems emerge later, such as subsidence, damp, parking problems or noisy neighbours.

So if you’re property hunting in the coming weeks, don’t be hasty, do your research and ask the right questions.

Most people begin online, which allows you to check out some basics before viewing, says Michael Stoop, managing director of estate agency network Xperience. Property portals such as Rightmove and PrimeLocation include Google Street View for each property, allowing you to get an idea of the neighbourhood before you visit.

“You can also check access to local transport and amenities such as restaurants, shops, cinemas, gyms and

How to Choose a Home

Home-for-Sale-SignDo you know how to choose a home that really suits you?  Is it a feeling you get or is it a matter of simple requirements that must be met?

Over a year ago, my husband and I decided to casually look for another home and move only if we found the “right” place.

This was, at first, mostly Rob’s idea.  I had moved, on average, every three years since college, and I was not anxious to do it again.  When we got married, I sold my place and moved into Rob’s house, so the idea of choosing a house together appealed to both of us.

And, the man wanted a pool.  On our honeymoon, the hotel had a pool, and Rob could have stayed there morning to night.  While many people would run from a house with a pool to avoid the maintenance, it so happens that cleaning a pool will be right up Rob’s alley.  It appeals to his slightly obsessive nature when it comes to cleanliness.  I can see it now:  he’s wading around the pool and using his fingers to remove, one by

10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

In the summer of 2007, my wife and I purchased our first home. As a first-time home buyer, I knew we needed to spend a considerable amount of time researching our purchase. So that’s exactly what we did – we read as much as we could, educated ourselves on the local real estate market, and explored every aspect of the home buying process. But even then, we still made a few rookie mistakes.

Of course, it’s easy to see that now – after the fact. You know how the saying goes: “Hindsight is 20/20.” Although we are still happy with our purchase overall, there are definitely a few things I wish we would have done differently.

Valuable Lessons for First-Time Home Buyers

But you live and you learn. And in the end, that’s all anyone can do. With that said, I wanted to share some of our mistakes and other things we’ve learned since we bought our house, in case they might prove helpful to someone else going through the home buying process. Looking back on my own experience, here are some tips I’d recommend to any first-time home buyer:

Start saving right away

The earlier you start saving for that down payment, the easier

How much deposit do I need to buy my first home

It’s one of the biggest dilemmas facing a first-time home buyer.

How much deposit do I need before I can get finance to purchase a property?And do I need to wait until I have 20% of the purchase price saved or am should I buy with the bare minimum needed, even if it means I’ll wear the extra cost of lenders mortgage insurance (which can cost multiple $1,000s)?With property prices in some parts of Australia growing at a heady pace in 2015, many prospective first home buyers may feel frustrated.No quicker have they saved another lump of deposit money, the prices of their target homes may have moved out of reach again.

Should you therefore strive to get into the market even with the most meagre of savings?

REA consulted a broad range of property finance experts and the general view is bigger is better however there are always exceptions to this rule.

Here are our findings:

How much deposit does a first-home buyer need before banks will talk to them?

Kaia Hunter of Mortgage Choice says a minimum 5% deposit plus costs is usually required. The costs associated with purchasing a residential property – including stamp duty and legal fees – are usually about 5%

10 things to check before you buy a home

Attending an open for inspection can be a daunting task for anyone, no matter how experienced you are.

Don’t let the styled décor sway you too much, there’s more to your new home than just how much you love or hate the interior.

Remember to look at the  building itself as much as you look at things like the layout of the kitchen and whether or not there’s an en-suite. If you’re serious about buying the property it pays to be thorough and a few simple maintenance checks can sometimes make the difference between buying your dream house and stepping into a costly nightmare.

If you’re ever in doubt, contact a qualified building inspector to put your mind at rest, but this list is a good place to start when looking for potential problems – and avoiding some hassles down the line.

Your open for inspection checklist

Take this with you on your next OFI Saturday.

1. Are there any water stains or corrosion to the walls backing onto the showers or baths?

Try to look at the walls backing onto these areas for any signs of moisture penetration or water leaks. This is not a structural defect but can be a costly maintenance item for repair.

2. Check the ceilings are not

Choosing the right buy to let property go with your head not your heart

‘Grand Designs’ aspirations are all very well – and dressing your property can pay dividends – but a prime catchment location will steal the show for your buy-to-let.

What do a converted garage, a property above a funeral directors’ and a flat that backs on to a railway line have in common? Their owners have no desire to live in them – but they are making a mint as buy-to-let properties.

Marc Von Grundherr, lettings director at Benham & Reeves, says his two “unappealing” properties, including a one-bedroom flat above a Thai supermarket in Earl’s Court, west London, are the “jewels” in his buy-to-let portfolio.

“They cost less to buy as they are both above commercial premises, but they are in central, catchment areas, and have achieved good rents and no voids,” says Von Grundherr.

“Buyers are often put off buying above shops or on busy roads, but this will generally give you a lower purchase price. The rents may be a bit lower, too, but they will not be proportionately lower, which therefore leads to much higher yields.”

Mark Howell, director of Aspire Estate Agents in Battersea, south-west London, also owns a buy-to-let property that, on paper, sounds unappetising. It’s

Factors to Compare When House Hunting

Not sure how to choose a home that’s perfect for you? The first step is to think about your wish list of what you’d like to have in your dream home. You’ll need to decide a price range, type of home (e.g. single family home or condo), number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.

If you are fortunate, you might find yourself in a situation where you find two homes that fit your budget and needs. How do you decide? What kind of things should you compare? It all can be overwhelming and can lead you to making the wrong choice.

If the homes are in different areas it is best to compare the things outside of the home. Below are seven things to consider when comparing two homes to decide which one will become your new address.

How to Choose a Home:

Neighborhood – Observe the neighborhood and see if it fits your needs. If you have children, does the neighborhood look like it is kid friendly? Is there a park nearby for your kids to play?

Education – Another factor if you have kids is the quality of schools in that area. Does the school system meet your standards? How far are the schools from the

How To Decide If A Home Is Right For You

Picking out a new house can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. How do you choose the best location? What if the house has problems you can’t afford to fix? What’s the tiebreaker if you love two places equally?

The first and only way to begin the decision-making process is to grab your calculator. A dream home becomes a nightmare the moment you can’t afford it. “As you calculate, look beyond the listing price,” says Steve Jones, associate broker of Crawford Olson Real Estate in McCall, Idaho. Here’s why: A house with a vaulted ceiling costs more to heat than one with a low ceiling. And a house with a pool means paying to maintain it. All these extra factors can add up.


Another less-tangible way to decide if a home is right for you is to trust your intuition, says Pat Trainor, a realtor with Coldwell Banker High Country Realty in Blue Ridge, Georgia. “I believe that most buyers form an impression in the first few seconds after they walk into a house,” he says. Even as a seasoned agent, he says he formulates an impression almost immediately. “Is this a happy house? Or does it depress me? Notice

If You Want to Buy a Home Here What You Need to Do Now

For the first time in years, the boom-and-bust housing market may be finding its sweet spot, with good deals for buyers and sellers. Is it time to jump in?

Too hot, too cold, too hot. For more than a decade the housing market has been nowhere near its Goldilocks moment, a just-right rate of growth that offers opportunities for both buyers and sellers. By certain markers, we’re finally starting to get there: Home prices nationwide are expected to rise 4.9% on average this year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That’s closer than we’ve been in a while to the long-term average of 3.3%—and a lot more manageable than either the sharp drops of the bust years or the 12% spike we saw in 2013.

What’s more, inventory is expected to loosen up, with 1.9 million units on the market this year—far below the flooded supply of 4 million we saw in 2008. The number of homes that were “flipped” (bought for a quick-sale investment) has dropped for the second year in a row, while the foreclosure rate is less than half what it was two years ago. Those are healthy signs for everyone (except, perhaps,

Top Tips For First Time Home Buyers

The challenge of buying a home for the first time can seem so daunting that it’s tempting to either just go with the first house that falls in your price range or continue to rent. To help you demystify the process and get the most out of the purchase, we’ll examine what you’ll need to consider before you buy, what you can expect from the buying process itself, and some handy tips to make life easier after you purchase your first home.

Considerations Before You Buy
The first thing you’ll need to determine is what your long-term goals are and then how home ownership fits in with those plans. It could be that you’re simply looking to transform all those “wasted” rent payments into mortgage payments that actually give you something tangible. Others see home ownership as a sign of their independence and enjoy the idea of being their own landlord. Narrowing down your big-picture homeownership goals will point you in the right direction. Here are five questions to ask yourself:

  1. What type of home best suits your needs?
    You have several options when purchasing a residential property: a traditional single-family home, a townhouse, a condo, or a multi-family building with two