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Home buyers check list

If you’re a first home buyer, the process of buying your first home can be exciting and challenging. Having a home buyers’ checklist to refer to will keep you grounded.

Below are some of our top points to tick off on your checklist which may make the process feel easier and more manageable.

How much can you afford?

Review your finances, complete a budget, and understand your income versus your expenses. Make sure you account for emergency contingencies and the expenses that come along with owning a home (rates, power, water and maintenance). Once you understand this, why not follow up by using a home loan calculator to see what a bank may potentially offer you.

Seek pre-approval

Once you understand how much you can afford, the next step is seeking an approval from a bank (or lender) for conditional or pre-approval purposes. This will solidify how much you will be able to offer and the conditions you will need to meet to be able to purchase your new home.

This step will require providing proof of your income, expenses, savings (including how your deposit will be sourced) and any other documents you may need to provide for compliance purposes.

Although we will make this process as easy as possible for you, below are some examples of documentation that may be required:

  • ID – A valid (not expired) passport or New Zealand driver’s licence (front and back).
  • Proof of income – Your last three months’ bank statements showing credits for income or latests payslips or your employment contract. If you are self-employed, you may need to provide your last 2 years financial statements or summary of earnings from IRD.
  • Bank statements – Your latest most recent three months’ of transactions on your day-to-day account, where your income is deposited, last 3 months savings account statements and if applicable we may need to review the last 3 months statements & transaction history for any credit card or loan accounts you may have.
  • Confirmation of deposit – Bank statements from your savings account, confirmation of KiwiSaver withdrawal, HomeStart Grant approval, or if applicable a copy of your gifting letter, deed of debt & forgiveness.
  • Address verification – A bank statement or recent utility bill with your full name and address on it.

After your lender has all of the information they need, they will review your application and also complete a credit check for compliance purposes.

Find a real estate agent and start the home hunt

Meeting with a real estate agent will give you the opportunity to speak with a professional, who will know the ins and outs of the location/property types you are looking to purchase. You will be able to speak about the necessities or unique features that you require in a home and therefore cut down on time wasted, leading you that much closer to your dream home.

Open home visits

Once you’ve noted what type of home you are looking for and potentially engaged with real estate agents to help source viewings, it’s time to actually visit potential homes. At this stage you will also be able to ask for a property pack from the sellers agent, you could then obtain a LIM and other documents such as builders report, appraisals or valuations and do a proper home inspection.

Meet with a solicitor

Have a meeting with a solicitor to help guide you on your home lending journey. A solicitor/lawyer will be able to help advise on the process and will need to be engaged with as they will arrange for the transfer of the property ownership and settlement of your home loans via the bank (lender). A property lawyer will also be of great value in discussing the intricate details noted on the LIM reports and sales and purchase agreement you obtain.

Make an offer

Once you have found the home you are looking for, making an offer will show that you are serious about the buying process. Be careful to have done your due diligence and understand that signing a sale and purchase agreement is a serious act that have consequences, should you not go through with the purchase.

Complete the sale

Sign the sale and purchase agreement, review and complete all conditions on the agreement, sign your loan documents and meet with your lawyer who will work with you to ensure settlement day goes ahead smoothly.

In summary

The above steps are only the most basic on a home buyers’ checklist, there will be picking colour palettes, furniture and arranging moving trucks galore. The most important point to remember is to plan and keep checking off the tasks on that list!

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