KEY TAKEAWAY: Be realistic, do your research, get professional guidance, and save as much as you can before the time comes to buy your home.

Property is hot. If you want to take a slice of the property market, here are some very important things to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

TIP 1: Do your research.

The home loan process is not as simple as walking into a bank and getting that loan. It’s a process, and there are a lot of elements to consider, such as loan capacity, purchase and settlement, as well as knowing where, when, and what to purchase. A mortgage broker is a great first step, as they can provide professional support on the best steps moving forward.

TIP 2: Be cautious.

Found the perfect house? Don’t believe everything you hear the real estate agent is telling you - carry out thorough building and pest inspections, find out what prices similar houses are selling for in the same suburb, and comb the house inside and out for ‘hidden’ damages that may cost you more to fix.

TIP 3: Buy with your head, not your heart.

It is so easy to get carried away when it comes to your dream home… and just as easy to have your hopes crushed. It is important to be realistic when it comes to buying your first home and what your money can get within your budget. To make it easier, create two lists of non-negotiables and things you’re willing to compromise on: you might not really need that four bedroom house when you only have one child.

TIP 4: The bigger the deposit, the better situation you’re in.

It goes without saying, but it cannot be stressed enough: save as much as you can for as long as you need. Aim for at least twenty per cent of the purchase price, as it saves you from having to pay lenders mortgage insurance.

TIP 5: Gardens can be hard work.

Love the idea of a lush green garden sprinkled with blooming red roses? This only happens if you put a lot of (hard) work into maintaining your yard. If you are not used to maintaining a garden, you might want to think twice about whether you really want to dedicate your weekends to weeding and mowing your lawn.

TIP 6: Think beyond the home.

When Confucius said, “Plan ahead or find trouble on the doorstep,” he must have been thinking about buying a home. Before you buy a property, you might want to look at the local council and whether their services measure up. Are there reputable schools in the area? Is there adequate public transport, and are there any building development plans near your property?

What have been some pieces of information you wish people told you about before buying your own home? Share it with the rest of the community in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: The advice provided in this article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. We encourage you to consult a finance professional before acting on any advice provided in this article or on this website.

About the author

My Local Broker is a dedicated team of experienced, nationally recognised mortgage professionals who are inspired by one vision:"To redefine the mortgage lending experience, providing local, personalised attention to each of our clients using advanced lending technology to enhance your experience, saving you time with simple, yet efficient processes."