Before you actually start looking at properties to buy, you will need to crunch the numbers to determine how much you can afford to pay from your savings and how much you can borrow, factoring in legal and lender fees, stamp duty and moving costs. Next step is to choose the type of property you want to buy: buying land and building a home or purchasing an existing home/home unit or buying off a plan. After these initial decisions, you can now get started with the steps of buying a house.
- Search for property
Location is an important factor. Depending on your unique needs, you may want a safe neighbourhood with quick access to commuter corridors, arterial roads, schools and shopping. Or you may prefer a peaceful area located away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Next, the home itself should be worth what the seller is asking for. Its features, shortcomings and price in comparison to similar properties are some points to consider.
- Does the seller have a contract of sale?
The contract of sale must be ready before the seller can offer their property for sale. Documents such as the contract, a cooling-off statement and other pertinent information if the property in question is a strata property, should also be attached.
- Express your interest in the property
Give your conveyancer or solicitor a copy of the contract of sale of the property you wish to buy. Once you make an offer, you’ll need to hand over an initial deposit (in good faith) to the real estate agent.
- Apply for a loan
Start with the process of getting a loan on the property. Take care not to exchange contracts before the loan has been approved. Your lender will value the property to assess if it serves as adequate security for the loan amount.
- Get the property inspected
A building and pest inspection is necessary to confirm whether the structural foundation is sound, the plumbing and electrical wiring is in place, and the property is safe against rats, termites or dangerous pests.
- Exchange contracts
Once your loan is approved, your conveyancer will arrange for an exchange of contracts. The contract contains all terms and conditions of the sale.
- Pay the deposit
You will need to pay the deposit set out in the contract. It will be held by the agent.
- Pay the stamp duty
You will need to pay the stamp duty, subject to the property’s purchase price, within three months of signing the contract.
- Wait until settlement
In the time period between exchange of contracts and settlement (anywhere from four to eight weeks), your conveyancer will make necessary searches and enquiries, and prepare documents. A settlement statement containing the details of the final amount owed is dispatched to the seller.
- Final settlement
On the day of the settlement, loan money is paid, the deposit is collected by the seller, your conveyancer receives a signed transfer and title of deed, and you pay the duty on the contract. Once keys to the property are handed to you, you can move in immediately.
Professionals assists you every step of the way on your journey to owning your very own property. Drop in to a Professionals office near you for more details.