From flat to family home - buying your first house
Ready to own your nest? From finding a good loan to pinpointing your criteria, plus lifestyle factors to consider, see this checklist before you begin the big search.
Buying your first house is a significant step, and beyond the financial commitment, you’re making lifestyle choices too. If you have a baby on the way, or young children, you’re looking to put down some roots, so it’s important to get things right. Ask yourself:
How big a house do you want? Consider the size of your family – if you plan to have two children, for example, will a two-bedroom house give your brood enough space? Children can share a room while they’re young, but how soon will you be willing to move?
Where will your children go to school? Do you want to live within walking distance? Visit the schools in areas you’re considering; likewise, if you have a baby on the way and plan on going back to work, it pays to research local childcare options.
Are you ready for rate hikes? While we all want the cheapest home loan around, taking on a fixed interest mortgage can offer budgeting security while a variable home loan exposes your pay packet to rate hikes from the banks. To see how higher interest could affect your repayments, check out Mozo's rate change calculator.
Are you willing to spend more time commuting for more space? Inner-city living does come at the cost of space. Being close to work may free up more time for you to pick up children and arrange dinner, if you’re happy to live in closer quarters. But if your family needs room or you dream of a large yard, longer travelling times to work may be in order – will this leave you with enough time to carry out your daily errands?
Don’t choose designer features over child safety. Is the floor slippery? Are the stairs easy to navigate by young children? Are there sharp corners everywhere? And how child-proof is the lush white carpeting?