Erin Morrison - First Avenue PropertyBuying your first home is a very exciting milestone, but it can also seem like a very daunting process. While trying to find the right property can feel a bit like trying to win the lottery, there are a few things you can do to make the process a bit easier. Here are our top tips for first home buyers;

  1. Sort out your finance.
    Before you do anything else, talk to your bank or mortgage broker. We’d recommend using a broker, as they can give you an idea of what different lenders have to offer. They will also be able to help you with sorting your pre-approval, and give you advice on how much you have to spend and if there are any restrictions on what you can buy. If you’re using KiwiSaver or a HomeStart grant make sure you apply nice and early.
  2. Prioritise your wish list.
    Make a list of the things you want from your new home, and identify what is a must have and what is a nice to have. For example, if you are buying a house and are intending to have two flatmates live with you, then a must have would be ‘at least 3 bedrooms’. A nice to have could be ‘a second bathroom’ or ‘deck out the back’. Be prepared to compromise on the nice to haves.
  3. Spend some time in the market.
    Get out to open homes and take a look at a lot of different types of property (standalone houses, townhouses, units) in different areas, and then narrow your search down. You’ll get to see what’s available in your price range and where.
  4. Do your research.
    Once you’ve narrowed down your search area, put some time into researching local amenities, transport systems and schools. Even if you don’t take the bus or have children, these things can become important when it comes time to sell.
  5. Get some help.
    Enlist the help of someone you really trust who has had experience buying property to give you advice, or speak with a real estate professional.