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Buying your first home: A timeline

29 Nov 13

Once you've decided to purchase your very first home, the steps to make your dream a reality can often start to feel overwhelming.

Before you race head first into this big decision, take the time to study up on a few real estate tips to help you make the right moves at the right time.

Before you start looking: Sort your finances

Save yourself a world of trauma down the line by getting your finances in order now. Securing a mortgage will usually require you putting down an upfront deposit to show you have the means available to meet repayments.

Home loan deposit values vary in South Australia, so it's always better to have a little more than you think you'll need than not enough. Put a solid savings plan in place to help you reach this figure and enable you to meet mortgage repayments once you've purchased the home.

Approach banks and lending institutions and ask as many questions as you can to find out what the best loan solution is for you. Some organisations offer fixed-rate mortgages, while others are floating, with each type having benefits and drawbacks.

Before you sign the deal: Inspect the property

If you've found the house of your dreams and have your finances figured out, don't sign the purchase and sale agreement before you get the house and land inspected by professionals.

An inspection can help point out potential issues with the home, such as termites, structural problems or hidden damage. Often inspectors will look at a home's heating systems, electricity and plumbing. They'll provide you with a report outlining any concerns they may have with the property. After this you should be able to finalise your decision to buy or not buy the house.