The right first home will be one that matches both your budget and your needs. Ask yourself a few questions to understand what you want from your new home:
- What's the neighbourhood like? Does it suit your lifestyle?
- If you plan on expanding your family, are there good schools or childcare facilities?
- Are there nearby parks or recreational facilities?
- Do you have pets? Is a yard something that is important?
- Is café culture important to you?
- Does the property have parking for you or visitors?
- If you don't own a car, are there grocery stores or amenities within walking distance?
- Is there public transport close by?
- What will your new commute to work be like?
- Does the property need any renovations, and if so, can you afford to do these?
- If you look slightly outside of your desired area, will it cost you less?
Everyone's needs are different, so do your research and take your time in finding that house you want to call home.
What is a bank valuation?
Once you find the property you would like to purchase, your lender will perform a valuation to understand how much the property is worth. This is commonly referred to as a "bank valuation", and it will help the lender determine how much you can borrow.
How long does a bank valuation take?
That depends on how complex the property is. Some valuations might not need a physical inspection, and a desktop valuation will be enough. In this case, your lender could give you an answer on the spot.
If a physical inspection is needed, your lender will work with a third party to arrange a time with you to inspect the property.
The cost of the valuation will also vary, for simple valuations your lender may absorb this cost for you, whereas with a more complicated one there may be a fee. Your lender will provide you with a quote upfront before performing any work.
The big things lenders look at
Once you officially apply for a home loan your lender will take you through an "affordability assessment". This is carried out so your lender can understand more about you and your financial situation to ensure you can pay back the loan. It will help ensure you only borrow what you can comfortably afford.
Your lender will review:
- your income – they'll want to see your payslips from the past three months, as well as tax information
- your expenses – they'll ask you a series of questions about your spending and request you provide evidence with your previous bank statements
- your credit history and credit score
- your repayment plan if your circumstances change.
It's good to have this information prepared if you didn't already supply it for your pre-approval, or if your circumstances have changed since then.