According to The Sydney Morning Herald, in 2017 the Australian national average age for a first-time home buyer, was 31 years old. In Sydney and Melbourne, however, first-timers are likely to be even older.
The article also notes that under the credit report regime of 2014, much more information can be acquired about your credit history than ever before. This includes red flags on missed payments of only more than 14 days, whereas before the regime, it was 60 days. This can make it even more difficult for first-time buyers to purchase a house.
If you’re a serious buyer looking for a new home, you’re not only going to want to find the ideal house, but you’re also going to want to consider the area and how it suits your needs. Check out these four things to consider when moving to a new area:
1. Get pre-approval for a home loan.
By getting a home loan pre-approval, you can not only make the whole approval process go faster (although often, once you find the house, the process is much faster as your lender already has your financial information). But it is also the best way to find out where your finances stand in the eyes of the lender. When you get a full assessment of your qualification for a mortgage loan, the lender will thoroughly go through your credit history, credit score, employment history, what you can afford for a monthly payment, how much you plan to spend on a down payment, and any additional documents they are relevant. This gives you and the lender the best picture of your qualification, for a good interest rate on the loan amount you will need.
All potential buyers can benefit from a mortgage pre-approval before they even start looking. Keep in mind, however, that a mortgage prequalification does have an expiration date (this information will be present on the pre-approval letter,) and is subject to change. For example, if your income ratio changes, or if the lender doesn’t find the appraisal of the property to be satisfactory, then the loan fails.
Bonus tip: while you should always investigate pre-qualification before a big purchase, and keep in mind that if a credit report is requested too many times, it can eventually affect your credit score.
2. Ensure there are health-care professionals nearby.
Access to healthcare services is always important, but it can be especially important for those with family members that are children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), despite the recommendation that everyone stays home due to COVID-19, children still need their annual well-child visits. These are crucial for children to make sure they are developing properly, receiving their vaccinations on time, and discussing any concerns you may have regarding their health.
For example, if you’re concerned about your child’s communication skills, you’ll need to ask your doctor about a hearing test. According to the CDC, if your child is showing any signs of hearing loss (such as failing the hearing test) then they should be seen by an audiologist for a full hearing test to find the reason for the hearing loss. You can find audiologists at hearing centers near me by simply adding your location and zip code at Hearing Health USA, to find hearing centers in your area.
Whether you, your child, or an elderly family member needs a hearing aid, are suffering from tinnitus, or merely think one of you could experience better hearing, then find a list of locations for hearing centers. Hearing Health USA is dedicated to the health of their patients, and will help you get the phone numbers of audiologists nearby.
3. Look for alternatives in real estate.
Sometimes when looking for the best deal whilst house hunting, looking into a Display House for sale can be the ideal way to get a luxury home in your price range. Depending on your financial situation and the competitive housing market, it can be a good idea to consider a display home since you can usually get these at a discount price with fancy upgrades. Check out Dennis Family Homes for a list of the locations for sale and see if you could afford the down payment.
4. Budget for top priority expenses after the home purchase.
According to Investopedia, after going through the mortgage process, a lot of people don’t account for adjusting their budgets for life as a homeowner. After all, there is no landlord to fix the leaky faucet anymore, so that’s coming out of your wallet now. They also suggest making sure that all of your insurance policies are up to date, i.e. homeowners’ insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, etc. They also recommend making sure that you have a plan for retirement, as they note that 64% of Americans are “on track” for retiring broke.
Bonus tip: Another great option is to get out the calculator now, and make sure that you have enough income to support the increase in utilities which may occur when moving from an apartment to a house, and that you will still have plenty of money for things like groceries, gas, etc.