So you have made the decision – you are firmly in the market to buy a property – a new apartment in Melbourne! This is probably one of the most exciting moments in your life, and quite possibly one of the scariest too, but with the right planning and approach, this will be a decision you’ll never regret.
To help you manage things a little easier we’ve put together this useful guide for first-time buyers of Melbourne apartments, which should provide a decent structure to guide your search.
Step 1- Agree your budget
No matter what your own opinion is you need to convince a lender that you can borrow the cash you need to make this first purchase. Unless you happen to have enough cash to buy an apartment outright you will need a mortgage of some kind, and it’s always worth doing plenty of research before committing as lenders can vary quite dramatically on who they will lend to, and how much they will lend.
Most lenders will want to assess your monthly income and any other sources of income, compared to your monthly outgoings. It pays to have as little debt as possible when applying for a mortgage, so work hard to reduce or pay off any credit card debt.
Don’t forget you need money for the deposit, the fees to mortgage and estate agents, stamp duty, etc.
Step 2 – Choose the right loan
If you are lucky there will be a range of mortgages offered, some with fixed rate interest rates, others which change depending on the market. Fixed rates are predictable and make budgeting easier, but if the rate falls dramatically you lose out. Always keep in mind that the sooner you can pay a mortgage back the sooner you will have more financial freedom.
Get all of your financial paperwork in order before approaching a lender. This includes payslips, tax information, proof of savings etc. In most cases it’s not worth being extremely loyal to one particular bank- don’t let habit or sentimentality cloud your analysis of what each can offer you.
Step 3 – Start the apartment hunt
Most people looking to buy their first apartment in Melbourne have some idea of must-haves, things they would love to see in it, and what would be acceptable, (especially if there’s some compromise possible.) Presuming what you want is realistic with your budget then don’t be swayed too easily away from it. Take a look at these new apartments for sale in Melbourne, Victoria for inspiration.
Once armed with proof of budget you can start looking online and in newspapers, and even contact a couple of agents if you like. Once you find a place that you’d like to buy arrange for the necessary inspections to be done. It’s not worth skipping these as you could regret it.
Step 4 – Make an offer
There’s a pretty standard script people tend to follow, with low bids and counterbids until a final price is agreed. Just be aware of your maximum ceiling and don’t get carried away.
And you are done!
One an offer is accepted, deposits organized, contracts exchanged and finally settlement arrives – you’ve made it.