Buying a first home is both an exciting and daunting process. Therefore, it is important that a first time home buyer ask a plethora of questions to various professionals. These professional will include a realtor, mortgage broker and solicitor.

Initially there are several questions you should ask
yourself prior to embarking on buying a home.
First it is important for you to define what type of home you are interested in purchasing by assessing what your needs are.
For example:

  1. Are you looking for a single family detached home, an apartment
    or a townhouse?
  2. Are you interested in buying at auction? If so, are you familiar
    with the auctioneering process?
  3. Do you have a budget that will adequately allow for the down
    payment, mortgage costs, property taxes and closing costs?
  4. Have you clearly defined your financial limits? If so, are you
    dedicated
    to staying within your financial means?
  5. Have you rid yourself of excess debt to allow for a smooth
    loan approval process?

Once you have considered the questions above, it is important to talk with a realtor who specializes in the type of home you would like to purchase and the manner in which you would like to purchase it. A realtor will be able to answer all of the following questions

  1. How long has the property been on the market?
  2. What is the current value of the property?
  3. What was the sale price of comparable dwellings in the area?
  4. What school district is associated with this property?
  5. What are the taxes for this property?
  6. When was the value of the property last assessed? This question is important because if the property has not been assessed recently, the new purchase price could cause the tax basis to be significantly more that which is currently listed.
  7. Are there any known defects?
  8. Why are the sellers listing the property?
  9. The types of inspections that are required and recommended to assure the property is sound?
  10. Calculating your Stamp Duty tax.

In conjunction with using a realtor, it is also an excellent idea to use a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker will have information about the various ways your loan can be structured based upon each of your variables; including but not limited to:

  1. The size of your down payment
  2. Any available subsidizing of the cost of the property
  3. The current interest rates
  4. The ability to pay calculated points to the lender to decrease the
    final cost of the mortgage per month
  5. Prior determination of all costs associated with the closing of the home
  6. Mortgage insurance

Lastly, you will want to consult an attorney to explain the legal ramifications of the transaction. These issues may vary depending upon the type of property you are purchasing. As such, the assistance of a solicitor can prevent legal complications during the process and thereafter. An attorney will be able to assist you with the following:

  1. Understanding the process of applying for a First Home Owner Grant
  2. Explaining the various ways a home can be purchased such as private treaty, buying at auction, buying by Tender and buying off the pla
  3. The manner in which you can take possession of your property; sole ownership, joint ownership, tenancy in common, as a commercial property for rental purposes
  4. The manner in which you will take title to the property, including Freehold, Leasehold, Strata Title, Company Title and Community Title
  5. Reviewing the necessary contracts for each step in the purchasing process

If you are diligent in assessing your needs and your financial means, and you enlist the professional services of a realtor, mortgage broker and attorney, your first time home purchase can be one of pure joy and excitement. You will be ready to move in and start your new life with confidence in your process and your choice.



For further information or inquiries, please contact the offices of
Owen Hodge Lawyers 
we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.