The following post is a guest post courtesy of IMB Ltd, one of Australia’s largest building societies.
Emigrating? Tips for buying a new home
Buying a house can be stressful enough. From finding the right home in the right neighbourhood, to finding a mortgage, to dealing with solicitors, real estate agents, conveyancers and lenders. It can be a demanding experience for even the most organised, relaxed person.
Buying a house in another country, however – perhaps a country you don’t know very well – is likely to be even more stressful. If you’re planning a move to another country, check out the following checklist for potential homebuyers.
If you don’t know the area you’re moving to it can be a good idea to rent before you buy. Each city or region has good areas and bad areas, and you are unlikely to know which areas to avoid unless you have spent some time there. Spend some time checking out different areas of town at different times of day, and find one that offers the atmosphere you’re looking for, and that suits your needs.
Renting can also take the pressure off, letting you take your time finding the right house to buy. Buying a house is a huge decision – one that shouldn’t be rushed.
Know your budget
Before you start looking for homes or home loans, you need to work out what you can afford. This can help you narrow the market and choose a home you can actually afford. Use a mortgage repayment calculator to work out a repayment schedule that fits within your budget, and use that information to work out how much you can afford to borrow overall.
Do your research
When you buy a house, there is a lot of research involved. When you buy overseas, there is even more research to be done. You will need to research neighbourhoods, mortgages, lenders, and real estate agents. You will need to find out how the house-buying process works in the country you’re moving to, and what you need to do to get things right.
Before you start looking at homes, it’s a good idea to get pre-approval on your home loan (if it’s available). This will let you work out a price range on houses, and it will give you the security to make an offer with confidence. If you’re moving to a new country, you may find it difficult to get a home loan without a credit history in that country. Find out which lenders are more likely to offer you a loan, and what you need to provide to convince them to lend to you.
Know what you want
Once you’ve done your research and got pre-approval, it’s time to decide what you want from your new house. Make a list of all the things that are important to you – the number of bedrooms, a yard, a garage, the location of the house, what facilities you would like nearby – to create a better idea of what you want and need.
Find a real estate agent
When you are buying a home in unfamiliar surroundings, it can be a good idea to employ the services of a real estate agent. While this is not essential, it can make life much easier. A real estate agent can give you advice, telling you what you can expect for your budget, letting you know what’s possible and what’s not, and making sure you do everything correctly for the sale.