A guide for first home buyers
Buying your first home can be a daunting experience, however if you arm yourself with the right information you can feel confident in the steps you are taking. After all, knowledge is power!
Here are 5 tips for first home buyers who are looking to enter the property market and begin negotiating with Real Estate Agents or Sellers.
1. Know what you are signing
Most offers are presented by way of a signed Contract. When the Real estate agents says you are signing an offer, often you are really signing the Contract. If the Seller accepts your offer, they will sign the Contract and a legally binding Contract exists. It is then too late for lawyers to provide you with advice on your Contract.
It is imperative that you obtain legal advice BEFORE signing an offer to ensure you fully understand the Contract, make sure all conditions are included you might need and ensure your best interests are protected. VAJ Byrne & Co offer this initial advice free of charge.
Unless you have the whole amount of cash saved to buy the house, you will need to ensure your Contract is subject to finance. This means that the bank will confirm they will loan you the money for the whole property before you are committed.
It is imperative you ensure the Contract is subject to finance if you are relying on loaned monies. If it is not, and you cannot obtain the funds necessary to purchase the property for any reason, you will be in breach of the Contract.
Please note a pre-approval for finance is not sufficient. This can be revoked at any time and is not safe to rely on, it must be a formal finance approval to proceed with a purchase.
3. Building and Pest Inspections
A new home purchase might be the biggest investment of your life, you want to make sure you are getting what is advertised and there are no hidden problems, like termites.
Having a building and pest inspection conducted by a registered inspector is a very quick and comparatively cheap inspection which will give you a comprehensive report on the condition of the property and give you peace of mind.
The inspector will personally inspect the property and raise any concerns identified in relation to the condition, structural integrity and safety of the building as well as any pest infestation concerns.
Please make sure your Contract is subject to a building and pest inspection and any other specific inspections you would like done before you commit to buying the property.
4. Council Compliance Search
This search is not a ‘standard search’. It is not automatically in a standard Contract. It is a search that requires special conditions to be drafted by a solicitor and inserted into the Contract to ensure the search can be lawfully carried out.
This search allows the Buyer to engage the Council to send an inspector to the property and ensure that all structures built on the property have final certifications and are compliant with council regulations. This can include sheds, awnings, external carports, patios and improvements or extensions to the dwelling.
Once the property is yours, any non-compliance becomes your problem and can cost thousands of dollars so many buyers want to check compliance before committing to purchasing a property. If you want this condition in the Contract, you must include it before you sign your offer.
5. Stamp Duty
When purchasing a property, there are lots of expenses to consider outside the purchase price. There are the costs of searches, moving costs, insurance on the property (you must ensure you have ensured the property by 5:00pm the day after the Contract is signed, the property is at your risk from that day), your solicitor fees and rates.
In addition, there may also be stamp duty. Stamp Duty or Transfer Duty is a tax paid to the State Government when you purchase property in Queensland.
If you are a first home buyer and have never owned any property before and you will be moving in as your principle place of residence and will live there for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for the first home concession. If the property is worth $500,000 or less, there would be no stamp duty to pay, provided you are eligible.
VAJ Byrne can do any stamp duty estimations for you free of charge.
Lets have a chat
Do you have any questions?
Let’s make a time to sit down and discuss your query, so the team at V.A.J Byrne & Co Lawyers can advise you on the best solution moving forward.
148 Auckland Street
Gladstone QLD 4680
Suite 2, 36 Barloin Street
Bundaberg QLD 4670
PO Box 273
Gladstone QLD 4680
Phone: (07) 4972 1144
Fax: (07) 4972 3205
Serving the CQ Region since 1931