10 Hidden Costs of Owning a Home

With the relatively low mortgage interest competing with the continuous rise in rental rates, a lot of individuals and families are now looking to purchase their own homes. The actual cost of a property, though, involves many hidden costs beyond the mortgage payments.

Whether you’re at the closing stage of your purchase or on your evaluation period, you should take some time to consider the additional charges to homeownership – these are expenses that go beyond the mortgage, property taxes, and settling costs.

To help you get started on your budget plan for this, we’ve prepared a list:

1. Moving fees

One of the most important things to take note of when purchasing – you will need to move your things into your new place. Whether you’re hiring movers or doing it yourself with rental vans, this will come with a cost. Moving fees can vary based on the location, the truck size, the amount of stuff you’re bringing in, and the season.

2. Furniture and decorations

You may not have all the furnishings you would need to fill your new space, especially when you’re moving from a smaller place to a bigger one. List down the furniture you may need and plan a budget for furnishing and décor so the expenses won’t surprise you.

3. Renovations or fit-outs

Even when you’re moving into a new home, there would definitely be a few things you would want to change, to truly make it yours. Perhaps you’d want the master bedroom to be repainted or maybe you’d want to add in a small room to use as a home office. It would be good to keep these in mind when budgeting for your home.

4. Maintenance and home repairs

Maintenance and repairs, especially when unexpected, constitute a big part of the costs of owning a home. Always make sure to have funds allocated for unexpected repairs.

5. Utilities

If you are moving from an apartment to a bigger home, expect an increase in your utility expenses. In addition, some of these utilities may ask for an upfront deposit or connection fee to get the services started.

6. Pest control

When you own your house, you’ll have no landlord to call to take care of your pest problems. In an average year, 84% of homeowners deal with a pest problem – whether it be ants, spiders, termites or mice. Dealing with pests can be more expensive than preventing pest infestation, so it would be best to spend for routine maintenance.

7. Exterior maintenance and upkeep

Your home’s exteriors need as much love as its interiors. Think gutters, lawn, paint, sidewalks, and driveway. Gutters will need to be cleaned at least twice a year. Lawns will need maintenance too – you can hire professionals to do this or you can also do it yourself. Also, keep an eye out for peeling paint and cracks along your home’s exterior.

8. Homeowner’s insurance

This is a type of hazard insurance covering any losses from your property or liability coverage from accidents that may occur within its vicinity – this is usually required by lenders. The amount needed for this will depend on factors such as location, so get different quotes for this insurance before deciding to close.

9. Security system

A good way to ensure safety in your home is to install a good security system. This could come in the form of CCTVs, motion-detector lights, or alarm systems. These extra safety features may cost you extra money but could actually also save you a lot in the long run.

10. Homeowners’ Association Fees

Select neighbourhoods have a monthly or annual homeowner’s association fee. These are used for the maintenance of community facilities or any other community event. 

A lot to digest – we know. Many of these expenses can also be hard to budget for, as they may be unexpected. Just always make sure you have sufficient emergency funds for any home repair/maintenance issue that will come up. 

When well prepared, owning a home can prove to be more beneficial than renting. If you’re looking to buy properties and are not sure where to start, Buying Perth Real Estate can help you. Our professionals offer free consultation – feel free to give us a call at (08) 6215 0200 or email us at clive@buyingperthrealestate.com

5 Mistakes that will Affect Your Home Appraisal

Once you’ve bought a house, you’re going to spend and invest a lot to improve it and live a better life. Don’t let these efforts go to waste, especially when the time comes that you have to sell your house.

When it comes to raising your house value, first impressions matter. Here are the avoidable mistakes that will affect your home appraisal:

1. Failed DIY projects and renovations

With the rise and popularity of “Do It Yourself” projects, it’s tempting to join and try making your own to save on money and create your design. However, a lot of these projects can go wrong in an instant, especially if you’re new to the task. Some DIY projects and renovation ideas may seem easy at a glance, but once you get into it, troubles may occur which may affect your house value. 

To prevent this, you can start with simple tasks such as applying new painting. You can also do your research on the best materials and practices or ask for help from people to assist you.

2. Unpleasant house situation

You wouldn’t want to live near mould, mildew, and other moisture problems that seep into your walls and flooring. Another unpleasant situation to avoid is having an old or musty smell. In a home appraisal, most homeowners try to mask these through chemicals, but experts will smell through it (no pun intended) immediately. 

To ensure your home is in pleasant condition, you have to eliminate the root cause of the problem. For moisture problems, you have to check for leaks and fix water problems. For odours, you have to clean your house thoroughly and remove the source. Sprinkling baking soda on affected areas is one of the best things that gets the job done.

3. Poor location

From the neighbourhood to your neighbours, your house location also plays a role in improving your home value. If you’re located in a place with poor conditions such as being near railroad tracks, having loud neighbours, and poor construction quality, chances are your house value will decrease (since most people wouldn’t prefer to live with these stressful circumstances).

When choosing a location, you also have to factor the environment. You have to be close to lifestyle centres, the business district, transportation systems, and public parks. Research the location well by talking to neighbours and studying the area so you can live with peace and quiet. 

4. Not having enough space

There’s always room for more space in a house. This is an indicator that you’re preparing for changes in the future in case you have a growing family, need more storage, or want to transform rooms into work or fun spaces. 

To give you an overview, a house appraisal and inspection covers most of the following: number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, amenities (pool, garden, balcony, curb appeal, etc.), overall layout, appliances, and garage/storage space.

5. Changing market conditions

The real estate market is volatile and ever-changing. One day the market is in your favour, and then the prices suddenly drop the next week. To prepare for this, you have to get expert assistance to help you navigate the market. The expert must be able to predict the prices and should be familiar with the location you’re in so you can get the best deal.  

Your home is valuable, don’t let these mistakes affect it

If you’re thinking of having a home appraisal, you have to avoid these mistakes beforehand to avoid decreasing its value. 

Take care of your home’s market value. For assistance, you can get a free consultation from the buyer’s agents at Buying Perth Real Estate. Contact Clive at clive@buyingperthrealestate.com or give us a call at (08) 6215 0200 or 0412 926 190.

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Having a Home Inspection

Before you finalize any home purchases, make sure that you conduct a professional home inspection first. Having a home inspection is important to gain a clearer understanding of the property’s condition. Professionals can also uncover any hidden problems and save you from potential pitfalls that might cost you in the future.

To explain further, here are some reasons you shouldn’t skip having a home inspection:

1. It establishes confidence in your purchase.

By having a pre-home inspection, you’ll be able to understand the current condition of your home. It will help you verify if the property you are planning to purchase is in safe and good condition. Everyone definitely wants to move to their new home with peace of mind. Without a professional pre-home inspection, aside from safety, you won’t have the confidence that what you are investing in is worth the huge amount of money that you are putting in. 

2. It can help you weigh options.

Pre-home inspection can reveal the pros and cons of the current condition of the home. In case the pre-home inspection report reveals too many issues and needed repairs for the property, you get to have a chance to weigh other options. Would it be better to buy a different property or build a new home? If the house you are planning to buy requires a lot of fixes, how much will be the overall cost? Also, consider the hassle and work needed for it to be repaired. If you think it will cost you a lot of time and money, you may want to reconsider making an offer on the property. 

This is why pre-home inspection is necessary – its results become one of the factors that you should consider when shortlisting property options and deciding whether or not to purchase a specific property. If you are not available to do the inspection before making an offer, make sure you seek the advice of an experienced buyer’s agent.

3. It gives you the power to negotiate a lower purchase price.

By knowing the current condition of the property, you get to have the power to negotiate a lower purchase price. An inspection report compiles the condition of the home in many aspects. If there are more issues, more repairs are needed. You can either have these issues fixed by the seller or agree that you are going to take care of the repairs only if they lower the property price. Hence, having a home inspection will give you the upper hand on the price negotiation. On the other hand, if it turns out that there aren’t many issues in the property, you are able to verify that you are getting your money’s worth. It will benefit you either way.

4. It can help you plan future repairs and replacements.

A pre-home inspection can give you knowledge of both minor and major issues that the property might have. Having these early warning signs can help you prepare and avoid problems from getting worse. You can plan how to repair and replace these items in the house and be able to budget and schedule them accordingly. An experienced buyer’s agent can tell you the best steps you can do for these issues.

5. It can save you money.

Having a pre-home inspection can save you money in different ways. First, you are saving money by avoiding buying a house that has many hidden and deeply-rooted problems. Second, you’ll be sure that the house you are buying is of high quality. Third, you’ll be aware of all the issues of the house, therefore, being able to prepare for future repairs and replacements. You’ll also be able to tackle these problems before they get worse and before the problems become more expensive.

Don’t ever skip having a pre-home inspection. You might not realize it now but having a pre-home inspection will definitely benefit you in a lot of ways and save you from future woes. You’ll be able to clearly understand the condition of the house you are buying and save money in the long run.

For more property tips and real estate consultations, make sure to contact Buying Perth Real Estate at 08 6215 0200 or send an email to clive@buyingperthrealestate.com.

11 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is both a daunting task and a big milestone in anyone’s life. It’s not always a smooth journey, especially if it’s your first time. You need to prepare and equip yourself with enough knowledge about the home buying process so you can avoid any problems that you might encounter along the way.

Consider asking yourself these questions before you take the plunge.

1. Why am I buying a home?

You need to figure out your purpose for buying a house and to make sure that it’s a realistic reason to avoid any regrets in the future. Many young homebuyers regret purchasing their first homes because they later realized that the mortgage payments were too high, they were unaware of the closing costs, or they were unprepared for the home maintenance.

Make sure that you think long-term when buying a home. Consider all the financial factors and make sure that you are prepared to pay your mortgage, settlement fees, and home maintenance fees even if sudden changes in your life take place. 

2. What do I want in a home?

Aside from figuring out your purpose for buying a home, you need to decide on the features that you need. Are you looking for a single-family home? Do you absolutely need to have a garage or a laundry room? Are outdoor living spaces important for you?

Decide on your non-negotiables before looking for listings. Again, make sure that you are thinking long-term so that the house you buy will still be comfortable for you to live in for the years to come.

3. How is my current credit rating?

When buying a home, one of the most important things that you need to make sure of is your credit rating. Having a good credit rating can be the difference between having the ability to buy a home and not. If you don’t have a good credit rating, your might find it more difficult to find a loan that can finance your home.

4. How much is my savings?

You should have a considerable amount of savings before you purchase a home. Aside from saving up for the deposit, you also need to consider unexpected expenses such as emergency home repairs and broken appliances. Aside from home expenses, consider other emergencies such as losing a job, getting married, having a child, or getting in an accident. Before you buy a house, make sure that you’ll have enough emergency savings left to get you through surprise expenses.

5. How much can you afford to pay?

Set a budget. Decide on how much deposit you can afford to pay and how much of the monthly mortgage you can shoulder without straining your finances. Consider other day-to-day expenses, any current debts, and your savings goals. 

If you are paying more than you can, you are risking the possibility of losing your home. Don’t force yourself to buy a house that you can’t afford. Consider taking the time to prepare and save up more money so you can peacefully buy a house without the risk of straining your finances.

6. How will you finance the loan?

Determine the length of the loan you plan to avail. If you choose a short-term loan, you’ll be able to pay it all off after a few years only but that means you need to pay a bigger amount every month. If you choose a loan that can be paid within a longer period, the monthly payment will be lower but the interest rate may be higher and you will end up paying more money in total. 

To identify the best financing option for you, ask yourself how you will finance the loan. If you have a lot of extra money per month, it might be better to get a short-term loan. If you are on a strict monthly budget, it would be best to opt for a lower monthly fee arrangement. Discuss your financial situation with your buyer’s agent so he/she can help you decide on the financing option that’s best for you.

7. Have I considered all costs associated with purchasing a home?

The property price isn’t just the only cost that you need to consider when purchasing a home. There are many additional costs that come when purchasing a home such as settlement costs, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, settlement fees, association fees, utilities, home maintenance fees, structural reports, and others. Make sure that you know about all these costs and take these into consideration when planning your finances.

8. How long do I plan to stay in my new home?

Purchasing a home is a long-term investment. If you plan to live in a home for a few years only, buying won’t be a good option for you. It might be more practical for you to just rent.When buying a home, it is ideal to stay in your home at least five to seven years before reselling the home. To determine how long you plan to stay in your new home, think about your plans for the next five years. Will you be changing jobs? Are you going to start a family soon?

9. Do I feel secure about my current job?

Aside from the additional costs that come with purchasing a home, being a homeowner also entails some expenses. In maintaining your home, you will eventually need to have some repairs and upgrades. Make sure that you have a stable income that will be able to finance all the expenses associated with owning a home.

10. Are you ready for all the responsibilities of being a homeowner?

If you’re used to renting, your landlord might have always been the one who took care of all issues related to the property. Once you have your own home, you will be your own landlord. You’ll need to take care of any issues that may arise – broken pipes, leaks, or broken appliances. Ask yourself if you are ready to take on the responsibilities of being a homeowner.

11. Do you have an experienced buyer’s agent?

The process of buying a home can be overwhelming. From planning, actually looking for the perfect home, and negotiating the deal, it would be better if you have someone who can help and guide you throughout the whole process. A credible buyer’s agent can make things go smoothly. They are more knowledgeable about the real estate market and will be able to come up with the best recommendations. They can help you negotiate with the seller and give you the best deal based on your needs and preference.

The experts at Buying Perth Real Estate are the best people to go to if you want to purchase a home in Perth. With multiple years of professional experience in Perth real estate, their skills and knowledge make them a credible buyer’s agent who can help you find your first home.

For a free consultation, do not hesitate to contact Clive at (08) 6215 0200 or 0412 926 190 or sign up here.

4 Financing Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Before buying a home, coming up with a financial plan is one of the first crucial steps. With factors to consider such as mortgage and home loan plans, getting preapproval, and putting down a deposit, it can be overwhelming especially for first-time homebuyers. Making time to research and have a financial plan for your home buying journey is essential. Learning about financing basics lets you plan your steps properly and can help you save time and money.

Here are four financing tips for first-time homebuyers:

1. Build a strong credit score

Before you even start looking for your dream home, build a strong credit score first. This means clearing your debts, increasing your credit limit, and paying your bills on time. A credit score is a crucial factor that lenders look at when deciding whether or not a borrower is qualified for a loan. It directly affects the mortgage deal that your lender will offer. 

Borrowers with high credit scores are considered by lenders to be of lesser risk as they appear to be more credible in paying loans on time. This results in the lender offering a lower interest rate. Hence, you’ll be paying a lesser amount of money in total throughout the loan period. On the other hand, if you have a low credit score, the lender might not approve your application or give you a higher interest rate to compensate for the risk of the mortgage loan.

2. Choose between a fixed-rate or variable-rate mortgage

Another financing basic that you should know about is what type of mortgage is right for you. You’ll most likely be choosing between a fixed-rate mortgage or a variable-rate mortgage. In a fixed-rate mortgage, the rate does not change throughout the entire period of the loan. This is beneficial as you get to plan and stick to your monthly budget as you know how much you need to pay per month for the loan period of the fixed loan.

A variable-rate mortgage, on the other hand, is for buyers who expect to have an increase in their income throughout the course of the loan period. In a variable-rate mortgage, they may provide you with a lower introductory rate for the first few years of your loan. However, this type of mortgage is highly dependent on market interest rates. Hence, it can be risky if your income doesn’t grow along with the growth of your loan’s interest rate. 

3. Choose the right type of loan

There are different types of mortgage loans in Australia to choose from depending on what type of property you want to acquire and on your financial needs as a home buyer. It is important to take your time in researching the different types of loans that you can apply for and to carefully weigh which one will benefit you more.

For home loans based on property type, the most basic mortgage is the owner-occupier home loans for homebuyers who intend to live in the home that they are purchasing. If you are selling a home while looking to buy one to move in, the bridging loan might be right for you. Meanwhile, a construction loan is for those who opt to buy land and construct a new home from scratch. Investment home loans, on the other hand, are for buyers who intend to rent out their property.

There are more types of home loans to choose from depending on your situation. Each type of home loan provides special conditions for each situation, so it’s best to know the best mortgage loan. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you choose a reliable mortgage broker that can help you meet all your needs and financial capacity.

4. Prepare for the deposit

Before you decide to buy a house, it is important that you save up enough money for a deposit. A deposit is one of the first things that you need to pay for once you secure your mortgage. While saving up for a deposit, you also need to make sure that you have a secure source of income and enough emergency funds after you’ve paid the deposit. 

Make sure that you do thorough financial planning before purchasing a house to avoid straining your future finances. The buyer’s agent at Buying Perth Real Estate has the expertise and experience to help you get started in your home buying journey. Contact us at (08) 6215 0200 or 0412 926 190 or send an email to clive@buyingperthrealestate.com for enquiries.