Buying your first home is always an event to remember and is equally exciting both for millionaires and for those who have built up a pile dollar by dollar to make their dreams come true. I actually fall somewhere in between so far as my financial stability is concerned but still, buying my first home will be engraved in my memory till my last breath on earth. So far so good, but in hindsight, I could have made the process easier if I had followed a few steps and not made the mistakes that I did. And that is the reason why I want to share my experiences with my readers so that they can avoid the pitfalls of buying their first house.
First, try and get the whole process under one roof and do not try to get things done in bits and pieces. There are a whole lot of legal steps that have to be gone through and it is always advisable to have one person deal with the whole process. What I did was to have a lawyer inspect the property and based on his reports regarding details of the land and building had another lawyer conduct a search of the past ownership of the property. Now this is important to be sure that it is free of all encumbrances and that there is clear and marketable title and I will be the absolute owner when the house is transferred to my name. And finally, there was another lawyer waiting to draw up the contract after getting all relevant particulars from the others.
This whole rigmarole resulted in multiple payments to different lawyers thereby putting a strain on my finances due to several lawyers’ fees and a prolonged purchase process. Instead what I should have done was contact a good property lawyer in Melbourne – the same holds true for any other place in Australia – and give him comprehensive responsibility of completing the whole process. I would have to deal with one person only and would thereby have speeded up the acquisition process.
The next mistake that I made was to buy my house in an upscale neighbourhood without conducting a thorough search of the area or other similar places in Melbourne. Hence, buying my house drained the last cent from my savings and on top of that I had to opt for a substantial mortgage amount. There are two things that I could have done here.
First, I should have been more thorough in my research of properties. One of my friends had bought a similar property at an almost similar location but at a vastly reduced price. How? He bought a house that required a certain amount of repairs and renovation. Since the repairs included strengthening the foundation and repairs to the basement – both costly by any standards – he could manage to get the house at an undreamt of low price. The total cost of renovation and cost of house worked out much less compared to what I paid for my property.
Secondly, don’t stretch your finances like me. Take a lower priced property and a lower mortgage than what you can really afford and keep money in the bank for adverse eventualities in life.
If ever I buy a second house, I will surely keep these things in mind.