Top 6 mistakes to avoid as a first homebuyer

Knowing what mistakes to avoid when buying a home means you're already halfway to not making them.

Couple on a couch enjoying coffee

Buying your first home can be much more rewarding and stress-free if you steer clear of these 6 common pitfalls.

1. Not doing enough research on suburbs

Location. Location. Location. You’re never just buying a home, you’re buying into a neighbourhood. Nobody wants to move into an area that has terrible roads, nowhere to buy groceries, or is getting bulldozed to make way for an airport.

Research your preferred suburb thoroughly to have an idea of selling prices, the quality of local amenities like shops and cafes, and any possible future developments that could impact the area. Your local Aussie Broker can help you out by providing free suburb and property reports.

2. Underestimating the costs

Some people make the mistake of assuming that buying a home just means saving a deposit. There are a range of other costs associated with buying a home including legal fees, home building insurance and moving expenses. And that doesn’t even account for ongoing costs like utilities and maintenance.

Consider creating a budget that allows for all the costs involved so you’re not left scrambling for cash at any stage. Aussie’s Budget Planner can help you work out your income and expenses.

3. Settling for a property that doesn’t tick all the boxes

Buying your first home can call for some flexibility and compromise, however, some home features may be more important to you than others.

Your home should meet your needs so draw up a list of must-have features —having priorities can help you stay grounded when you start inspecting homes for sale. Finding comparable properties which have already sold may also give you a better idea of prices.

4. Not arranging a pre-purchase inspection

Some home buyers discover issues with their place after they move in. A carpet stain is one thing, but termite damage or mould inside the roof is another. These unexpected issues can quickly add up, so don’t make the mistake of not looking for them.

A simple way to avoid this trap is by arranging a pre-purchase pest and building inspection for any property you’re thinking of buying. This can give you a better idea of the condition of the place, alert you to any potential problems, and help you avoid unexpected repair bills later on.

5. Rushing property inspections

Sometimes people get so caught up in the thrill of finding a home that they forget they’ll be living there for many years. Don’t make the mistake of rushing your inspections.

It’s a good idea to inspect a property more than once — preferably at different times of the day. This will give you a better idea of things like interior light and neighbourhood noise. Try to imagine where your furniture will go, check out the back yard, and think about where the sunlight will fall throughout the year.

6. Not learning how the purchase process works

Buying your first home is one of the biggest decisions of your life, so it's worth understanding how the process works. Plenty of first homebuyers rush into the process while still unsure about how much they’ll need, what they need, and what they must do early on in the process. This can lead to stress or even unexpected costs.

Use the time you’re saving for a deposit to do your research and become more confident about buying your first home. Meeting with an Aussie Broker can also help — even if you’re not ready to buy now, they can help you take the first steps on your path to home ownership.


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