"I am the basis of all wealth, the heritage of the wise, the thrifty and prudent.
I am the poor man's joy and comfort, the rich man's prize, the right hand of capital, the silent partner of many thousands of successful men.
I am the solace of the widow, the comfort of old age, the cornerstone of security against misfortune and want. I am handed down to children, through generations, as a thing of greatest worth.
I am the choicest fruit of toil. Credit respects me. Yet I am humble. I stand before every man bidding him know me for what I am and possess me.
I grow and increase in value through countless days. Though I seem dormant, my worth increases, never failing never ceasing, time is my aid and population heaps up my gain. Fire and the elements I defy, for they cannot destroy me.
My possessors learn to believe in me; invariably they become envied. While all things wither and decay, I survive. The centuries find me younger, increasing in strength.
The thriftless speak ill of me. The charlatans of finance attack me. I am trustworthy. I am sound. Unfailingly I triumph and detractors are disproved.
Minerals and oils come from me. I am producer of food, the basis for ships and factories, the foundation of banks.
Yet I am so common that thousands, unthinkingly and unknowingly, pass me by. I am real estate.
- LOU SCOTT -
First time home buyers- all you need to know!
Buying your first home can be a scary and daunting process if you don’t have the right information. Below are a few friendly tips from beginning to end, to make the process exciting and run smoothly.
Your first home will be your greatest financial investment. You will feel a sense of financial freedom and it will be an upgrade in your lifestyle. No more renting, paying someone else’s bond rather than paying your own and having something to show for it at the end.
First, find a house that suits you. Not only right now but also think a few years ahead. Do you need a bachelor flat, a three bedroom family house? Would you prefer a condo, a townhouse or a house with a nice big garden? Once you have your “wish list” you can then look at what you can afford.
A few points before you apply for a mortgage bond. Make sure your credit record has been good for about two years. Don’t have any unpaid items or judgements against you or on your accounts. Lenders generally won’t give you a bond of more than 20% of your income. You will need to have a cash bundle for the deposit and also for the extra costs. Some extra costs you will find are, home owners insurance, tax, moving expenses, municipal costs, transfer fees and attorney fees. Taking all of these into consideration will assist you in making a financially informed decision on how much deposit to pay and how much of a bond you should apply for.
Next you should do some shopping around. Look at as many houses as you can before you make a decision. Look in the neighbourhood you have decided on. Take a drive and look for “For Sale” signs. Contact agents in the area. Do online searches. Get the prices on similar houses to what you are looking for, so you can get a better picture of what the current market trends and values are. Find out if the area is a prosperous one. Are the house prices falling, increasing or is the market stable?
When you view houses take photos, so you can compare later on. Keep notes of the features that stood out to you. Make a shorter list of the houses you really enjoyed and go view them a second time. Ask as many questions as you need to and get as much information as you can to assist you in making your decision.
Once you are completely content with the house you want to call your home, make an offer. If you are unsure on the value of the house or want a second opinion, get a professional to do a valuation on the property and ask other estate agents. To put yourself in a better position to negotiate the price, have a pre-approved bond and proof of the cash you will need for the extra costs. Be ready with a competitive market related offer. When the seller accepts your offer, the house will then go through the process of being registered into your name. The chosen transferring attorneys and bond originators will make sure this process goes as smooth as possible.
The property is in our name, that’s it right? Not quite. There are a few small important things to remember once you own your first home. Don’t forget to change your address for municipal bills, clothing accounts and any other relevant parties that need to contact you. Find out where the closest emergency centre, doctor and police station is. Make contact with your neighbours and find out if there is a crime watch in your area. Make sure you know where the water shut off valve is and the main fuse box. Have a small savings for general maintenance and unexpected expenses. Try to plan a budget to let you live comfortably in your new home.
A first home is always a rewarding and uplifting investment.
Make the right decisions and you will always be financially sheltered. (Kerry Campbell)