No one ever really teaches you how to buy a house. It's a long and often stressful process in Australia, but it can also be quite rewarding. As you begin your journey, follow the steps in this guide to gain a better understanding of what to do next.
While many people start this process by thinking of how to buy your first home, the truth is that you should start by thinking if you really want to buy a home at all. While homeownership does seem lovely on its face, there are some people who just don't benefit from it. If you travel frequently, think you'll be moving out of the country or if you just don't want the problems that are attendant with home ownership, it might not be a good idea to buy. Make sure that you're really invested in this process, as it's hard to pull out of it once you get started.
Step One: Scout Your Property
If you've made the decision to buy property, you might ask what's the first step in buying a house. This one, at least, is simple - you've got to figure out where you want to live. If you already know the city in which you want to live, this is probably an easier task than you think - spend some time looking at the neighbourhoods and schools you like, as well as the ease of transit from one place to another. Scouting locations is going to give you not only a great idea of what kind of houses you might like, but a solid idea of what your budget ought to be.
Don't be discouraged if you can't find a house in a neighbourhood you like. Often, it's far more affordable to be a block or two away from the prime spots than to be in them. Give yourself the leeway to go a bit off the beaten path to get what you want.
Step Two: Get Your Finances in Order
Your next step will be to get your finances in order. If you're new to the country, this is going to mean going through the Foreign Investment Review Board to get approved to buy a property. It usually takes a little more than a month to get approved, so start moving quickly.
Once you've passed the FIRB (or ignored it entirely, as a citizen or permanent resident), it's time to get your finances in order. You'll need a good credit history and a proof of income to get what you need. Don't forget that most loans are around an eighty-percent loan to value ratio, so it's also going to be time to start putting away your money to make up the difference.
Step Three: Put Down Money
The next of the steps to buying a house is both the easiest and hardest part - making an offer. You've found the house you want, now it's time to buy it! If you are lucky enough to have your offer accepted, expect to put around ten percent down while you figure out the rest of your finances. It's a fair bit of money, but you'll get it back if things fall through. It may take several tries to get a home if you don't have a great deal of money to bargain with, but you'll eventually find a property that works for you.
Step Four: Move In
You've got your property, you've got your financing, and now one thing's left to do - wait! Once everything is straightened out, your biggest burden will be paying taxes - usually between one and two thousand dollars. It's not a huge burden compared to what you've already spent, but it is money you'll need to have on hand. Once you've cleared all of those hurdles, you'll finally be able to move into your new property.
Buying a home in Australia isn't as hard you might have thought. From the first step to buying a house to the last, your biggest burdens will always be making sure you've got the paperwork done on time. Pay attention to each step, make sure that you're spending within your means, and don't be afraid to ask professionals questions. If you are able to calmly and carefully explain any problems you might encounter, you'll find buying a home to be much less scary than advertised.