If you are in a position to purchase your first home in 2020 you have incredible incentives to buy and build due to several stimulus packages available to help bolster the economy during restrictions. Which one is the best investment for you?
To help sort through the choices here's part two of our quick guide focusing on the benefits and potential problems that you can expect from buying an established home.
Yes, I'm going to buy: What to watch out for
Repairs and Maintenance
It's pretty rare to find a perfect established home. In most cases, your home will have imperfections that might be physical or aesthetic that will mean extra money for you to redo, repair and maintain over time. From a new coat of paint to repaving the front path, hiring a professional to fix electrics and plumbing or having to relay the carpet, expect and budget for some work to be done.
New owners of an established home will most likely need to set aside money for some maintenance or renovation before getting settled.
You might not want to rush into it too soon, you might need to get some cash under your belt first, but those nagging issues are your responsibility.
Get those building and pest inspections done on the homes you are serious about purchasing but also expect other costs to crop up unexpectedly, oops, there goes the hot water system.
Settling for less
Existing homes were built for someone else in mind, for a different family with different needs to yours. It is highly unlikely you are going to find a home that exactly matches what you want. Having a list with your non-negotiable features will help you stay focused on what you want and settle on a home that offers everything you need. Yes you might be stuck with some unwanted features...like those lime green kitchen tiles, or you might even have to settle for a nearby suburb to get the home features you want and can afford, but if those all-important features are present and accounted for you are going to have to take those blemishes on board. At any rate, you can style it up to your tastes as you go. An extra bathroom, outdoor entertaining, it's all possible in the future. It's a nice little way to make that home yours with time.
The Perks of Buying an Established Home
More location options
Land is not available everywhere. If you already know where you want to live it simply might not be an option for you. In some cases, the land alone is just as expensive as an established home, putting it out of reach for many first buyers and excluding them from the builder's grants due to exceeding the land value limits.
It's easy to research
It's much easier to do your research when there is a detailed history to draw on. A block of land might not have got much attention in the past. If it was boggy and flooded last year, who's to know. A new community estate, especially one that hasn't been built yet will have nothing to rely on for understanding the culture and hurdles you might face. Your established home and established community will be a lot easier to nut out. As well as records of fire and floods you can walk, drive and visit the neighbourhood to get a feel for traffic noise, aircraft traffic, commuting and how your new life will be.
Less decisions to make
For some people, it's impossible to imagine a finished product from a few lines on paper. Buying an established home means you see exactly what you get. You are not left to discover a year later that the window location is just not right or you hate the feel of those specially ordered benchtops! You can see exactly what works and know how your new life will look in advance.
Ready for the move-in
Can you afford to keep living where you are while paying your loan? While some builders offer incentives to help ease the doubled costs of renting while you build, in other cases it's financially the better option to move in right away. As well as being able to move in faster than building a home you will also know the room layout from your walkthrough and can plan your move and furnishings. Some vendors are flexible with settlement periods so it's worth asking the real estate agent what settle period options exist.
In some cases, it's just not feasible to have a mortgage and pay rent while waiting to complete a build.
Every person's circumstances and needs will be different, which is why homes are so different from suburb to suburb and neighbour to neighbour. Deciding to buy or build is a big one that needs to happen slowly and with research to make sure the right fit is found to give you the certainty of a happy home. Weigh up your choices, consider your budget and ask for advice from experts who can help you make a decision you will love. Above ALL read the fine print!
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