Checklist for First Time Home Buyers

Want to buy a house for the first time but not sure what to do? There is a lot involved when purchasing property, but there’s no need to be overwhelmed. It often helps to break the tasks down into easy steps. Our checklist for first home buyers is a helpful resource to get you started on the journey to purchasing your first property. 

1. Plan a Budget

Figure out your monthly income from all sources after tax. Now work out your living expenses per month, including groceries, bills, healthcare, entertainment, education, transport, credit cards, loans, etc. 

Subtract your monthly expenses figure from your monthly income. The number you’re left with is the amount you’ll have to spend each month on mortgage and loan payments, rates and maintenance costs for a new home. 
If you need help with budgeting, have a great free online budgeting tool available here.

2. Gain Finance Pre-approval

Be sure to get your finance approved as early as possible to ensure a smooth run when you start house hunting. You can get started with finance by researching potential lenders or getting in touch with your bank or mortgage broker to compare mortgage rates. They will discuss your budget to help you settle on a finance plan you can comfortably afford and may give you a pre-approval certificate to verify your eligibility to borrow before you buy.

3. Apply for Grants and Subsidies

There are a number of grants, subsidies and low-deposit loans available to first home buyers in New Zealand. Head over to Housing New Zealand to find out what you could be eligible for.

4. House Hunt (with a Checklist)

Once you’ve worked out a budget and gained pre-approval it’s time to start hunting! The most important thing is that you love the house and the area, but it’s a good idea to check the condition of the roof, plumbing, drainage systems, electrical wiring, fences, paving, driveway, and insulation. Also check for cracks, water damage and mould. 

5. Building Report

Before you make an offer on a home, it’s a good idea to get a builder’s report to ensure it’s in good condition. The property inspector will look out for all of the things mentioned above and more. If they note any need for maintenance, you may be able to negotiate costs with the vendor.

6. Make an Offer

When you find your home and you’re confident it’s in liveable condition, make an offer!

7. Get a Home Loan

If you haven’t already, contact your bank, lender or mortgage broker to get your home loan approved and underway.

8. Engage Property Conveyancing Solicitors

It’s important to engage property conveyancing specialists with knowledge in property law in case any issues arise during the property transfer. Transferring home ownership from the vendor’s name into yours can get tricky, so make sure you choose conveyancing solicitors with solid legal knowledge to take care of the transfer for you. 
If you’re looking to buy your first home this year, the specialist property lawyers at Home Transfer Centre are here to help. We provide fixed priced property conveyancing across New Zealand. Call 0800 773 377 or send us a message online.