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How to buy a house

The steps to buying a home include getting your finances ready and finding the right mortgage lender. This guide for beginners explores the mortgage process from start to finish. “Time to buy” means the time period from when a potential buyer must get financing, through to when a mortgage can be issued. Buying a house can be expensive but you can protect yourself in four key areas.

1. Budget your expenses Before you buy a house, your budget will give you a good idea of how much it will cost you to live in it, also getting a real estate agent can also help with this and you can find good ones at Choose a good budget because after you buy the house you will need to stretch to help cover your housing costs. To get a sense of your spending in the budget, work out your rent, mortgage, electricity, water and gas bills. Budget with tools such as Budget Grow or our Budget Planner.

2. Register your house If you are buying a house for the first time, you will need to register it. This is done through the legal system to save you the hassle of selling the property after a few years. Registering your property can also help your mortgage lender settle your mortgage quickly. Borrowers should do this when they know what kind of property they have. Many local authorities offer free services to help you register your house and get it registered in time to meet your mortgage obligations. The easiest way to do this is to book an appointment with your nearest council.

3. Look for a mortgage Mortgage lenders operate under different rules and regulations. You will need to find the right lender for your needs. Fee structure, product and other additional fees may vary depending on the company you are considering. However, some factors to bear in mind when looking for a mortgage include: Property size Your age and whether you qualify for a mortgage loan Any financial requirements you have Property where you live and any expenses you would have to pay for Interest rates and loan repayment terms Property insurance Loan-to-value ratio (LVR) Interest payments Credit references Buying a home can be an expensive endeavour but the steps you take can help protect your money if things go wrong. Understanding mortgage costs is important so you can make informed decisions. 4. Discuss the purchase When you are considering a purchase of a property, it is always best to be upfront about your thoughts and wishes. When your plan comes to fruition, you will want to discuss the cost of buying the house and the interest you will have to pay over its lifetime. Negotiating the price of the property before you take a mortgage may make for a better deal. Once you have finished with your mortgage, the seller will contact you to help you dispose of the property if you will be unable to keep the repayments you have set. Make sure you consult with your local council in this process. Further reading: Mortgage requirements Types of loans Where to get mortgage advice Mortgages: essential guidelines

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