Truth is, I waited way too long to buy a house; throwing my cash into frivolous endeavours and not realising how important home ownership truly was until it was almost too late.
Here are some things I’d tell my younger self (and you) about buying your first home. Take notes!
Save now. For the love of God, save now!
In your twenties, you’ll want to spend your earnings on things like going out, clothing, and dying your hair at the salon when you clearly can’t pull off peroxide blonde highlights. Stop all of this immediately and start saving your money. Years go by quickly. One day you’re 23, the next you’re 34 and with no deposit to buy a home. Do not make this critical error.
Buy as soon as humanly possible
You know when the best time to buy a house is? Yesterday! Everyone goes on about market crashes and booms, but here’s the reality: Property prices will continue to go up, so you’re best to get onto the ladder as soon as possible and reap the benefits that come from owning your own home.
Start exploring those outer suburbs
I know you’re going to want to buy your first home in the suburbs you’re renting in. Why wouldn’t you? Those inner city suburbs have everything going for them. It’s convenience at your fingertips. But newsflash: You can’t afford convenience at your fingertips. It’s time to get yourself acquainted with the suburbs that are further out from the city. This is likely where your first home purchase will be.
Or, be at one with a cosier home
If you can’t cope with the thought of living in the ‘burbs (you’ll come to realise it’s not as bad as you imagine) then you need to become at one with another compromise: A small home. Yes, you can live closer to the city with all of the perks that come with this lifestyle. But you’ll be in a small unit – possibly the size of a portaloo. So come to terms with not having a dining table as soon as possible.
Before you go to meet with the real estate agent, have your final offer agreed upon with your partner and don’t budge. I mean it: Never waiver. Be prepared to walk away. You’ll find the more you’re ready to move on, the more they’ll want to accept your offer.
Enjoy every minute of the honeymoon period
The first year living in your new home is the most exciting part of the entire journey. You’ll get to purchase new furniture, nail hooks right into the wall, paint your bedroom and perform a whole host of DIY activities that you never could when renting.
This joyous 12-month honeymoon period does wear off, though. You’ll be itching to move house again to something more exciting in your second or third year. So revel in the we-just-moved-in excitement, because it does fade.