You would think buying a house would be a simple process. Sort out the mortgage, find a house you like, pay for the house, move in then enjoy living in the comforts of your own home right? Unfortunately, buying a house is not quite as simple as we would like it to be. In this guide we aim to take you through some of the key steps that everyone must go through when buying a house. From sorting the mortgage to finding a real estate agent in your city, this guide should help give you the information you need to buy your new home. For the purposes of this example, we will be buying a house in Christchurch and using Whittle, Knight & Boatwood as our real estate agents. Before we go talk to the real estate agents, we will need to get a few things

You Will Need

A Mortgage

A Conveyance Lawyer

Your Mortgage Deposit (20% of the total mortgage amount)

Step 1 Research some properties

Go online or into an estate agency and have a look at some of the properties on offer. You will need to consider at this stage whether you want to live in a house or an apartment. You can look at both during the actual selection process, but if you have a better idea of what you want, it should be easier for you to find a place you like.

Step 2 Plan the costs

When you go to buy your first home you are going to need to take into account ALL of the costs related to the purchase. This includes:

  • Conveyance charges (from the lawyer)
  • The cost of the mortgage
  • Insurance
  • The cost of any checks or reports done as part of the sale
  • Tax to be paid (for 2nd or 3rd property purchases)
  • Your deposit
  • Moving costs

The more prepared you are with these costs, the less likely you are to be surprised by a large bill or fee.

Step 3 Find a real estate agent

There are very few instances where you will not have to deal with a rea estate agent and that is with private sales or conveyances. In the event this happens, your lawyer or conveyance preparer you will need to be in contact with theirs to help streamline the process. In most cases you will have a house or homes in mind that you want to look at, so you’ll go talk to the real estate agent for that property. However, before you talk to the estate agents you may want to do some research into them. Check if the real estate agent you are working with is licenced and if they have had any complaints upheld against them in the last 3 years. This will give you an idea of who you are going to be talking to and how they do business. Understanding what a real estate agent can and cannot do for you is important to ensure they don’t overpromise or back out of agreements

Step 4 Mortgage Pre approval

You need to now go talk to your bank (or mortgage lender)about getting your mortgage pre-approved. You essentially have to prove to the bank that you are going to be able to afford the mortgage for the house price you want within a certain bracket. Once you have that you can go out and start viewing houses.

Step 5 House Hunting

This is where it gets fun (for some) you get to go around looking at houses to find a house that’s right for you. Once you have found the right house for you, you will need to talk to your lawyer (or whomever is dealing with your conveyance) and your mortgage dealer about making an offer.

Step 6 Research your ideal home

Now that you have found a home that you like you need to do some research into the house itself. Working with your real estate agent as well as other government bodies you may want to get reports on the various aspects of the home. This includes looking at title records, council approvals, builder’s reports and whatever other documentation you deem necessary.

Step 7 Making an Offer

Once you have found your perfect home you will need to gain approval from your mortgage lender to make an offer on a property. For this step you will need to liaise with your lawyer, mortgage lender and real estate agents to ensure that you are able to make an offer, that the appropriate documentation is filled out correctly and that you are able to finalize that offer with the current homeowner through the estate agent. Be aware that the sale and purchase agreement you sign is a legally binding document, this is your opportunity to voice disagreements or concerns with the real estate agent. It is strongly recommended that you have your lawyer check the agreement before you sign. This is also an opportunity to include any issues with the property as conditions before you make your offer. Be thorough.

Step 8 Finalise the Purchase

Congratulations! Assuming everything has gone well you are now a proud new home owner. Now all that remains is to get your things moved in and to organise the utilities in time for the move.

We hope this guide has proved helpful in simplifying the home buying process for you and helped you on your way to becoming a proud new homeowner.

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