What's In For Buyers

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Whats in for Buyers

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The Home Buyers Ultimate Guide

You must have realised buying a home is a stressful process. Months of researching on the internet, weekends drive on the inspections, night calling with agents, even though perfect homes feel further away than ever.

Dream to buy a family home & settle down as early as possible is the first thing that comes into our mind. When buying off the plan or even existing, it is hard to figure out if a place is just right for you. First home buyers or owner-occupiers want a place to be easy on the eyes, practical for their work and lifestyle requirements and in possession where they feel like home. On the other hand, Property investors love numbers, returns on their investment, expenses to keep/hold property and building a property portfolio. Time is on your side.

There is no best time to buy property. The best time is when you are ready. It’s universally accepted that Property is the only safest investment in the world when you have patience. We have to consider looking at the things we can control rather than looking at what others are doing. Your situations, income, lifestyle and commitments are comparable just like properties on the same building, street or locations but not the same.

At One Agency Gungahlin, we are here to minimize your stress. This is the reason why we exist. We have helped many First Home Buyers and Investors on their journey when buying their first home or their investment property. We will help you get ahead of other buyers by presenting properties to you as a VIP Buyer, offer you advice on how to secure it and will help you save time & money during the process.

Buying your home is can be quite challenging, particularly in ACT and NSW where prices are skyrocketed and securing your dream home is not easier than you think. It’s even intimidating if you are not familiar with the real estate market and how this process works. You might wonder where to start.

There are two aspects to purchasing a home. Put simply, you need to find a property that appeals to you and a financial arrangement that suits your circumstances.

The first and most important thing about buying is to work out what you ‘need’ and what you ‘want’ in your new home. Needs are essentials. Wants are features and fittings that can be acquired over time.

Important things to consider are location, proximity to facilities and services you need, the required size of the home and the area of the land the property is on. When you have decided on what you need, then start thinking about the home you want to buy. 

New or old home - renovating is fun, but it can be expensive and disruptive. 

Gardens and grounds - maintenance of grounds and gardens may be time-consuming, and possibly expensive. 

Features and fixtures - what appliances and fittings are vital, and what can be added later.

When starting your search look for real estate portals such as allhomes.com.au, domain.com.au, zango.com.au, realestate.com.au and oneagencygungahlin.com.au

Other ways of finding properties for sale includes:

• noting signboards in front of properties
• reading real estate industry magazines
• hearing of listings by word of mouth.

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Save the time

When you sit down on your computer to start your home search you are already aware of how long the process can take. Searching for a home is an endless time-consuming game. Once we understand the specifics of what you are seeking in a home, we will work on your needs and weed out anything that doesn't match your criteria. Working with us is the best way to eliminate looking at homes that simply will not work for you.

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Save Money

As experienced real estate agents we have been around the block once or twice. This means we have quite a bit of knowledge at the table when it comes to the value of certain neighbourhoods and homes, we value the value of a home from the moment we walk in the door.

We will guide you to the listings that offer the most opportunity with what you want, and the price you want. In general, we will avoid listings that most likely won’t provide you with what you are looking for saving you both time and money.

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Guidance and Support

Purchasing a home is an exciting process; it is also quite emotional and overwhelming as well. We will guide you with each and every step on buying your dream property. We will be on your side throughout each home viewing, helping you understand what type of design of the home is right for you or why a home just isn’t good for the investment.

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Paperwork

It is common phenomenon while buying a home you have to go through a copious amount of paperwork? Some of the documents are:

• Contract of sale
• Repairs

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 Avoid Closing Issues

We guide you through the final process; you don’t want any bumps in the road. Some of the closing issues can include:

·      Document errors
·      Mortgage delays
·      Last-minute requests
·      Unclear titles
·      Issue during walk-through

Talk to people and learn as much as you can about the property buying and selling process. You can look into real estate values in your preferred areas by attending auctions and speaking with different real estate agents.

If you find a property you like, make sure you one of our dedicated real estate agent a questions that are important to you about the property’s history, location and characteristics. 

Here are some of the things you need to consider before you make a decision of buying your dream home: 

There are ways of buying a home in ACT and NSW

The two most popular ways of buying your home is by private sale or auction. The better buying option for you will be influenced by the type of property and location, your available time frame, your personal preference and the market.

Private sale: 

In a private sale (also known as a ‘private treaty) the property is advertised at a set price or within a price range. Offers are invited from prospective buyers. The sale is negotiated between the seller & buyer, usually with the help of an agent; however, you can also use the buyer’s agent. There common advertising includes Fixed prices, Price range, Price Plus, Price Above and by negotiation.

The buyer and seller agree on a sale price through negotiation, often via an agent. 

Auction: 

An auction is a public sale conducted by a licensed auctioneer and is governed by strict rules. The auction is set for a certain place, date and time. Prospective buyers bid and the property is sold to the highest bidder, when a seller accepts the bid and you have to sign the contract right there and then.

To help you decide on the lowest buying price for your home you should:

• use the One Agency agent’s buying guide
• to research sale prices in your area
• consider paying for a valuation by an independent valuer
• not allow your emotion or attachment to the home to cloud judgments
• Be realistic.

Tender

This form of selling is used from time to time. It involves requiring all interested buyers to put their offer in writing, usually the maximum they are willing to pay. These offers are then taken to the seller, and sellers have the opportunity to pick the highest price. As with selling by auction, there is no cooling-off period when selling by tender.

Our dedicated agent will advise you on a method of sale. This advice should be supported by recent sales information and current market conditions. 

Buying property off the plan

You may also consider buying a home or unit ‘off-the-plan. This usually means purchasing a building before it has been constructed. This involves prospective buyers viewing plans and models or visiting a display to see what they will be buying. When buying off-the-plan, be aware that delays in completing the building may defer settlement and occupation of the dwelling.

In this type of purchase, deposit monies can be tied up for significant periods of time. You should consider the use of a deposit bond or arranging investment of the deposit monies.

It should be noted that, unlike purchasing an already existing property, when purchasing off-the-plan you are buying a product that you haven’t physically seen yet. Ask to see examples of the builder’s work so you can assess the quality of work previously completed. You should be extra cautious when signing the contract for the sale of residential property for this type of purchase.

Most contracts for off-the-plan properties include a maintenance period of at least 90 days. This clause usually excludes fixing items, which are otherwise covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

Note:

You will not get any legally binding statement as to when an off-the-plan will be finished. Special conditions to the contract will give the builder a right to extend the date through any cause beyond their control. 

Beginning the buying process:

Find out how much you can afford

Before you approach any lenders, you should carefully assess your financial situation. This will enable you to determine a loan amount that you can comfortably afford now and that will allow for any changes that may happen in the future. Things such as starting a family, interest rate increases, other unavoidable household expenses and emergency situations, will all change your financial position.

There are additional costs to consider with a house purchase, such as:

• legal fees
• loan establishment fees
• government charges
• owners corporation contributions (for a unit purchase)
• general rates and water rates
• reimbursing property inspection fees
• moving costs
• furniture and fittings

Generally you will be required to contribute to the purchase price of a property, normally 90% and in some cases 100%. The amount you will need to contribute may vary from lender to lender and can be affected by the type of loan available.

If you are borrowing 80% or more of the purchase price, lenders usually require you to pay for mortgage guarantee insurance.

Mortgage insurance (or mortgage guarantee insurance) is usually a once-only premium, paid at the time the property purchase is settled. It will not cover you if you experience difficulties repaying your loan. It is designed solely to protect the lender’s investment if you default on the loan. It is used in circumstances where a borrower defaults on their loan and the amount owed exceeds the amount received when the lender sells the property.

The variety of home loans available offer different rates and features. You should obtain as much information as possible from lenders and have the terms and conditions of the loan explained in writing.

Most lenders will offer several variable loans, with different rates and selected extras. As a rule, loans with lower interest rates generally have fewer options and features. Those with higher rates may offer features such as a redraw facility to allow you to draw on money already paid off the loan. They may even allow extra payments and early loan payouts without penalty.

Speak to you local lenders or mortgage brokers who can help you find various lending options.

Researching

Knowing where to start can be the biggest hurdle. The right tools and support will get you moving with a little more confidence. 

Once you have mapped out your finances, it is important that you spend time researching the area you are looking at buying in. Start your process searching on real estate portals to look for a suitable property; the most common websites are allhomes.com.au, domain.com.au, realestate.com.au and zango.com.au and oneagency.com.au.

If you are viewing a number of properties online or physically, it is a great idea to take notes and to fill out the property inquiry form to get more information. If you find a property you like, make sure you ask the real estate agent questions that are important to you about the property’s history, location and characteristics. Make lists of questions and requirements that you need on a property based on your budget.

Property Inspections:

Your first inspection of a home will probably be at an open house. This visit will give you an initial viewing of the property and the opportunity to check whether the property meets your basic needs of the location, age, size, position, style and condition.

Checking the contract for the sale

The contract for the sale of residential property: A seller must have a draft contract for the sale of residential property ready before a property is first offered for sale. 

When inspecting the property, you should ask for a contract of sale, which includes all legal aspects relating to the property. You can take a copy of the contract for the sale of residential property to your solicitor to check everything is in order.

A contract of sale also includes Building and Compliance Inspection Report that provides details about the structural soundness of a property and information about whether structures on the land have been approved under the relevant legislation as well as a statement of any provisions that may influence or restrict what can be done to the house or on the land.

EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) and Pest Inspection The report is also required when selling the property and It is included in the contract 

Determining the market value

The price you pay for a property will have an impact on the amount you borrow,

the cost of transfer duty and your own peace of mind and happiness in respect of the purchase. When you identify a particular property that meets your requirements and circumstances, you should consider obtaining an independent valuation of the property by a qualified property valuer.

The API (www.api.org.au) can provide assistance in selecting a reputable valuation firm.

Making an offer

When you have found the right property you can make your offer via the selling agent or directly to the seller in the case of a private sale. The agent may require a deposit to accompany your offer, but it is only a holding deposit and it will be returned if your offer is not accepted or if you change your mind. Your offer is not legally binding until the exchange of contracts for the sale of residential property. 

The decision on how much to offer is a difficult one to make. You have to decide whether to make your best offer upfront or offer a lower price and be prepared to negotiate up. Be aware that if another person makes an offer at the same time as you, the seller may decide to accept that offer, without giving you the chance to alter yours.

If you are not confident about this process you may prefer to engage a buyer’s agent to do your bargaining for you. You will be charged a fee for this service.

If you make an offer to buy in writing you should insert a date by which your offer will lapse. If you are not confident your offer will be successful you should continue to inspect other suitable properties.

When you identify a particular property that meets your requirements and circumstances, you should consider obtaining an independent valuation of the property by a qualified property valuer.

Exchanging Contracts

The Seller may decide to accept your offer if they are happy with the price. You will then be required to exchange contracts to buy the property that you are intended.

 A legally binding contract does not exist until a contract signed by you and a contract signed by the seller are exchanged. A deposit is payable at this time.

You may require paying the deposit to the seller, upon the exchange of contracts for the sale of residential property. The deposit may be specified in the contract but it is negotiable. The deposit is usually paid to your real estate agent or solicitor who will place the money in a trust account until settlement day.

A cooling-off period

A cooling-off period of five clear working days applies to residential sales. This may be required by some sellers. This period does not include weekends or public holidays. This allows you to consider the offer you made and begins from the first valid weekday after the contract for the sale of residential property has been exchanged.

If you change your mind for any reason about the sale during the five-day period you can withdraw from the contract for the sale of residential property.

The cooling-off period does not apply in the following cases:

• the property was purchased on the same day as a public auction at which the property was passed in and you were a registered bidder
• you waive your cooling-off rights after having received independent advice from a solicitor
• you are a corporation
• the property was sold at auction or by tender.

You may decide to waive your cooling-off rights or to shorten the period. To do this you must receive legal advice from a solicitor (but not the seller’s solicitor), and obtain a signed certificate from your solicitor, which you must then give to the seller.

Note:

If a buyer withdraws during the cooling-off period they must do so in writing and pay you a forfeiture from the deposit equal to 0.25% of the purchase price ($250 per $100,000 of the purchase price)

If you decide to cancel the contract for the sale of residential property and the

cooling-off period hasn’t been waived you must cancel with the seller or the seller’s agent in writing. Always keep a copy of the cancellation letter for your records.

Organising a pre-settlement inspection

You are entitled to inspect the property you are purchasing about one week before settlement, or at reasonable times with reasonable notice. These inspections should be pre-arranged with the seller or the seller’s agent. The contract states that in regards to goods, the condition at settlement is subject to ‘fair wear and tear’. However, you should ensure the property from the time of exchange of contracts.

It is generally accepted that the risk of accidental damage is borne by the buyer from the time the contracts are exchanged.

Settlement Day

The settlement date is when the balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller in exchange for the title to the property. This is an official process held between legal and financial representatives of the buyer and seller. The settlement date is also when the buyer takes possession of the property.

At settlement, all charges such as rates etc will be adjusted between the seller and the buyer. The seller is responsible for rates up to and including the day of settlement. The buyer is liable from the day after settlement.

Settlement usually takes place between 30 to 90 days after signing the contract for the sale of an existing residential property, but this can be decided between the buyer and seller.

Other things to consider:

·         First Home Owner Grant (FHOG): 
·         Stamp Duty Concessions
·         Land Tax
·         Rates

For further information regarding buying process and documentation please visit the following link:

https://www.revenue.act.gov.au/im-buying-a-new-home

https://www.actlawsociety.asn.au/for-the-public/fact-sheets/buying-a-home