Have a realistic budget
With interest rates at some of the lowest we’ve ever seen it is indeed tempting to take out a generous home loan to purchase your dream home. However, before you raise your hands at an auction, take a step back and decide what you and your new partner can realistically afford every month. Do not forget to factor in council rates, potential body corporate rates, ongoing maintenance fees for the property etc., and consider the lifestyle you wish to lead in the coming years.
Be financially educated
Take time to speak to your financial consultants, and understand what will work best for your individual situation. Take out a home loan with repayments of both principal and interest. At the same time, do not borrow to your limit either. While this is a fortunate time to be in the market for purchasing a property, especially for first home buyers, remember to go into this knowing that interest rates will no doubt go up in the future.
I see many young couples with ‘The Block’ fever, and keen on undertaking their own major renovation project with an older property. My advice would be to spend wisely – it is smarter to spend more on securing a great property that is liveable in its current state, and pacing out the renovation works over the next few years.
Search for bargains
There are still many bargains to be found around suburbs like Ripponlea, Elsternwick and Caulfield. Keep your eyes and ears opened, and build a close relationship with real estate agents who specialise in the areas you wish to live in. At the same time, do not be afraid to look outside of your comfort zone, and consider surrounding up-and-coming suburbs. One of my favourite pieces of advice to share is: buy the best house in the worst street, because these streets will get developed in the near future, and you would have nailed yourself a bargain.
Oren Flamm, together with his brother Golan and sister Eilat, are directors of Hodges Caulfield.
With an established presence and understanding of the local market, Oren and his team are eager to help new couples start their lives together with their ideal first home.
To contact Oren, call (03) 9533 0999 or email email@example.com.