Johnston Withers

5 Things Every First Home Buyer Has To Know.

Published on Thursday 17 January, 2019

Entering the property market can be a daunting experience. Some people go in armed with facts and figures, others go in not really knowing what they want or need and then there are some who just go “all in” with no information and no facts.

The last approach may work some of the time but mistakes in real estate can cost you. Not just in money, but also in stress and your valuable time. And who wants that? We all want to enjoy that euphoric “I just bought a house” feeling, right?

We’ve been in the Conveyancing game a while and we have seen a lot of first home buyer settlements – most ending in triumph but some ending in tears! So our expert Conveyancers have compiled a list of 5 things every first home buyer has to know.

1. Heart ruling your head

When you are looking for your first home, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you need, what you can afford and to stick within those boundaries. Falling in love with a house when it doesn’t tick all the boxes means you will struggle to make the right decision. Keep your feelings in check and keep them to yourselves – loving the house may see you be blinded to the shortcomings of what living there will really be like.

5 tips for new home buyers johnston withers lawyers

2. Do your homework

First Home Buyers need to remember the selling agent is an employee of the Vendor. They want the deal done and the house sold quickly and will give you all the required information but they should not be your only information source. Lots of free information is readily available for you, without even leaving your home! You can look up online the previous sale prices, auction results, median house prices and schools located within the area – all without even talking to the agent. So please, do your homework on these things and make a list of your “not negotiables”. Remember that in real estate, forewarned is forearmed.

3. Pushing your budget

Don’t borrow above your means. Let me say that again – don’t borrow above your means. A fatal mistake is stretching your finances to the limit. A house has ongoing costs; you will have rates, utilities, taxes, repairs and maintenance. And if you want to do any improvements, you simply won’t have the cash flow. Even worse, stretching your budget to that point may leave you with a lifestyle you do not enjoy.

4. Get a pre-purchase building inspection

A reputable and qualified building inspector can save you thousands of dollars

or stop you from buying a ‘lemon’. Don’t quibble over paying a few hundred dollars now for this report, because it can save you big bucks down the track. A house may look amazing, but you need to know if there are:

  • Any structural issues (roof, walls etc.)
  • Any hidden repairs/DIY disasters
  • Smoke alarms or any electrical issues
  • Any plumbing or storm water issues
  • The estimated cost of any repairs

The building must also conform to Australian building codes and standards.

5. Get professional advice

When it comes to Real Estate, everyone has good advice, right? Wrong. Don’t listen to your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Sure, they may have their own personal experiences but when it comes to protecting yourself in Real Estate you must talk to your:

  1. Loan Broker / Banker: An experienced and professional broker or banker who knows what loans are on the market, what type of loan suits you and your future
  2. Conveyancer: an absolute must to engage one early. Before you sign the contract!

Getting in touch – we’re here to help!

If you’re in the process of purchasing your first home we’re here to help you with your Conveyancing needs. We have permanent offices in Adelaide, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Murray Bridge and Clare. We also service Roxby Downs on a regular basis.

We have been operating in South Australia since 1946. Asking one of our experienced team of conveyancers to handle all aspects of the transaction for you is the key to stress-free settlements. Our expertise includes;

  • Contract special condition advice and Form 1 preparation
  • Electronic Conveyancing and document registration (PEXA friendly)
  • Estate and matrimonial transactions
  • Business contracts
  • Land & community divisions
  • Family farm transfers
  • Commercial leases
  • Mortgages
  • Caveats
  • Applications to register death, change of name or marriage
  • Easements
  • Encumbrances

If you would like to discuss a Conveyancing job, please call our Head of Conveyancing, Tanya Williams on (08) 8231 1110 or get in touch online.

Tanya Williams - Johnston Withers Lawyers


Tanya Williams

Practice leader: Conveyancing

Related posts...

Protecting your business online: Lessons learnt from the recent High Court cases of Voller and Defteros

Lessons learnt from the recent High Court cases of Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd v Voller [2021] HCA 27 and Google LLC v Defteros [2022] HCA 2. Prepared by Caitlin Walkington and Richard Bradshaw.

6 things farmers should know about solar & wind farm lease agreements

Renewable energy projects can be low-stress revenue streams for farmers to earn regular income through good years and bad ones. To make the decision process easier, we’ve spelled out what farmers need to know before signing a solar or wind farm lease agreement.

Who can contest a will in South Australia (and how to do it)

Thinking about contesting a will in Australia? South Australian legislation known as the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 enables someone who’s been either left out of a will or hasn’t received adequate maintenance to make a claim against the deceased’s estate.