Home ownership is the great Australian dream. Everyone needs somewhere to live, and there’s nothing better than living in a house which you own. However, there are some things to think about when you’re looking to buy a place called home.

Here are some mistakes to avoid.

Don’t fall in love on the first visit

When it comes to property, there should be no such thing of ‘love at first sight’! We suggest looking at two or three properties and compare how many boxes each one ticks.

Buying with your heart instead of your head may result you paying over the odds or not noticing some of the work that needs doing. Always do due diligence on a property and look for the negatives as well as the positives of a property.

Don’t buy a ‘forever’ home if you are planning to move

Yes, most people say it’s better to buy than to rent, but if you’re planning on moving in the next couple of years, you might not get the return on the property by the time you’ve factored in the buying and selling costs.

If you are planning to move in a couple of years, consider buying a property you can rent out later down the track. While the property might not be your style, it will be an investment and help you get that dream property later down the track.

Don’t go over budget

Get a pre-approval on a mortgage so you know how much you have to play with. Then factor in the extra costs – and a bit more for anything else you haven’t thought of!

Remember, you’ll now be responsible for Council rates, strata fees and maintenance, so make sure you’ve factored these costs into your monthly budget when you do the figures.

Don’t stretch yourself

Circumstances do change. You may experience a drop in income for a variety of reasons. Better to buy a less expensive home which you can continue living in if your financial situation changes than to lose that dream home at a vastly reduced price.

Don’t hold back on the deposit

The more you borrow, the more you’ll have to pay. While interest rates are low at the moment, there is a chance they could rise. Furthermore, as we’ve highlighted above, your financial situation may take a downturn at some point.

Try to avoid borrowing more than you have to.

Don’t skip the building and pest inspection

From termite damage in woodwork to damage in the foundations from leaking pipes, a building and pest inspection will usually reveal the things you can’t see or may not notice in a viewing.

In our opinion, inspection reports are worth their weight in gold and while they do cost, having a pre-property inspection by specialists can save on unexpected costs later down the track.

Furthermore, because they are done by an independent, there is no emotion attached to the property and any flaws will be detailed.

As one of Newcastle’s longest established real estate offices, we know property. Whether it is from an investment or homeowner’s point of view, we’re always looking at innovative ways to help you get the best from your asset.

Drop into the Cardiff office or give us a call on 02 4954 8833. Or send us an email to: mail@apnewcastle.com.au – we’d love to hear from you.

And don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for handy tips on selling your property or what to look for when buying a property.