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Buying our first home


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#1 Lizzie1

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:59 AM

We have just gotten pre-approval to buy our first home! It's all very exciting and at the same time very daunting - being in so much debt certainly does scare me a little! huh.gif

As I have been reading about the whole house buying thing I have realised there is soooo much I just don't know - so hopefully this is where you ladies come in!

We have found a place that we like, and it goes up for auction in 2 weeks, but they are accepting offers before hand. The thing is it is priced $490k - $530k and I have no idea on how much we should actually offer?! My DP thinks we should offer $510k but my thoughts would be to start low - say $480k ish???? I just don't know what the right thing would be to do..... it's seems we could be offering heaps more than what we need to.

Also the bank said we would need to find a solicitor/conveyancer - I'm not sure what the difference is and what is the better choice?

So does anyone have any advice or recommendations that might help me out?
We live in Melbourne and are looking to buy in the south east. Our family is all in the country so unfortunatly we can't use who they did when they bought.

I hope all of this makes sence - Thanks so much for reading!
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#2 Wordlover

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:06 PM

I think a conveyancer is a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing - so they are more or less the same thing. I'm sure some of the Victoria ladies here would have recommendations for you on someone to use?

I'm always confused about offers as well! I think generally it's best to go in reasonably low and negotiate from there. I would maybe offer $480 or $490 and chances are the sellers will counteroffer at a higher price. It's obviously much less risky/easier for them to sell now rather than go to auction, especially if they won't have to pay for the auction, so they will likely be keen to arrive at a good price with you.

#3 truffles

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:58 PM

I never know what to do either in terms of a start price for bidding... I guess the thing is that you can always go higher, but can't change your mind and go lower tongue.gif

I would probably be inclined to make a bid between the ranges given, to show that you are a serious contendor and also so as not to offend the owner if you know what I mean? On the low side, but still within the ranges. One tip we were given was to make it an 'odd' (as in strange) number eg. $496,500 as opposed to $495,000 as it makes your offer stand out a bit more than others.

Not being from the areas I can;t help it terms of Solicitor/ Conveyencer, but I'm sure some of the other ladies can. Best of luck with it, hope you get your new home soon wub.gif
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#4 Magnolia

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:07 PM

Congrats on the pre approval! How fun and scary at the same time, lol.

If you really really love the place, I've read that you should offer as much as you're willing to pay, so if you don't get it, you wont regret not offering that last 10k? If that makes sense.

I think it really depends on the RE. Whether you can come back with a counter offer if it's too low. I know for our place you could only submit 2 offers (it wasn't an auction). So by starting low, you might not get opportunites to keep uping the offer otherwise it becomes a silent auction iykwim?

There are a number of variables. How long has the property been on the market? Sometimes if it's been on the market a while, or the vendor's desperate to sell, they could accept an offer before hand. Otherwise, maybe they're just testing the water to see what'll happen at auction?

Have you looked at other properties in the area to get a feel for prices? Whether it seems like a bargain? rip-off? comparable features?

I'm not sure what the difference between a solicitor/conveyancer is. But I would imagine you'd go with the conveyancer. They'd be the ones with all the experience in the paperwork to do with titles etc. Whereas not all solicitors would be.

Good luck. Sorry, I'm in another state so can't recomment anyone to you. We were given our reccomendation by the agent.


#5 Lee Lee

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:20 PM

We have just purchased our first home - or rather we are in settlement at the moment.

When we were looking I always found it helpful to find out what a reasonable price was for the location you were buying.

there is a website www.onthehouse.com.au, that lists the sale price of all houses sold, there is a slight lag in the info and I think is about 3 months behind.

While an auction would be good, it also poses some problems. As at an auction I don't believe there is any cooling off period and you have to provide a deposit on the spot.

When we had our cooling off we arranged for a building inspector to visit the property to ensure there were no major issues. In SA the cooling off period is only 2 days at which time a deposit is provided.

If you make an offer think about putting in that it is subject to a satisfactory building inspection - this will be approx $400ish. Also ensure that you put an expiry date on the offer. Usually before the auction.

I also think that when making an offer never go in with your best bid first, however if a house is worth $500k and you think it is worth that then I don't think you should offer $490k etc but it is such a balancing act.

A conveyencer or a lawyer that does conveyencing should be find. MAinly they say that a conveyencer is cheaper than a lawyer as that is all they can do where as a lawyer is able to help with other stuff.

Another thing to do is make sure you do your stamp duty calculations as this is quite a high cost once you have purchased and apparently not one that the bank will cover. Also I believe the first home buyers grant only applies to homes under $500k (well at least that is in SA). Have just checked this out and in Victoria homes under $750k qualify for the grant

Oh another thing is that you will need to get house insurance or at least get it sourced. For us we have had to insure the house from the moment contracts were signed.
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#6 Lizzie1

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 04:20 PM

aaahh yes so many things to think about!

Thanks for that - I'll add insurance and inspections to my list of things to do! I'm finding stamp duty a real killer - it just takes so long to save for the deposit with it included (and even without it!)

Good point about the expiry date on the offer - I didn't think of that!

I went and had another look today - the agent was telling me he is expecting around $570,000! ohmy.gif this is above what we can pay, so may just have to miss out on this one - but I hate how they put an amount on the internet and then it really goes for heaps more!

This place is really nice though - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large living and close to transport, shops and parks. Pity I like it so much tongue.gif Oh well - we might try and put a bid in and just see what happens, otherwise I'm sure we'll find something else!

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#7 ~AnA~

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 04:39 PM

QUOTE(Lizzie1 @ May 19 2011, 09:59 AM) View Post

Also the bank said we would need to find a solicitor/conveyancer - I'm not sure what the difference is and what is the better choice?


It's not necessarily cheaper to use a conveyancer rather than a solicitor. The difference between the two is that a conveyancer is not a solicitor but rather someone who has qualifications to conduct conveyancing checks. We used a solicitor, which turned out to be cheaper than using a big conveyancing company in QLD. Shop around and ask what the usual rate for conveyancing is, as well as their standard fees for sundries (phone calls and photocopying - it adds up!).

QUOTE(Carolyn @ May 19 2011, 01:07 PM) View Post

There are a number of variables. How long has the property been on the market? Sometimes if it's been on the market a while, or the vendor's desperate to sell, they could accept an offer before hand. Otherwise, maybe they're just testing the water to see what'll happen at auction?

Have you looked at other properties in the area to get a feel for prices? Whether it seems like a bargain? rip-off? comparable features?


It would be good to know how long the property has been on sale and why they want to sell.

QUOTE(Lee Lee @ May 19 2011, 01:20 PM) View Post

When we were looking I always found it helpful to find out what a reasonable price was for the location you were buying.


Totally agree with leelee. It is VERY important to know the prices in the area you are buying in, and also surrounding suburbs. When we bought our second house, I researched the top three suburbs I wanted to live in for 3 months, including how quickly a house sold, the variables in the house (original condition vs renovated; 1bathroom vs 2 bathroom etc). It really gave me the confidence in putting in a reasonable offer for our house and we recognised that the house we bought was being undersold, so we could offer a bit more to ensure we secured the sale.

Even if you aren't successful with this house, giving it a go will give you a little experience in the long run.

Best of luck.


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#8 Channy

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 05:56 PM

Lissie - if you can hold off, maybe wait a few months. All signs point to the market dropping alot more!!
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#9 Primm

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:53 AM

QUOTE(AnA927 @ May 19 2011, 06:39 PM) View Post

It's not necessarily cheaper to use a conveyancer rather than a solicitor. The difference between the two is that a conveyancer is not a solicitor but rather someone who has qualifications to conduct conveyancing checks. We used a solicitor, which turned out to be cheaper than using a big conveyancing company in QLD.


Actually the way they are licenced is different in QLD to Vic. In Victoria you can be licensed as a conveyancer without being a solicitor. In QLD a solicitor has to supervise the contracts even if the person doing them up is a qualified conveyancer. So there's generally no price difference up here or the solicitor is cheaper because they don't have the extra conveyancing qualifications. But it's a completely different story down south.

The real estate agent talking up the price is probably just trying to get you to offer more. Every indication is that prices are still dropping. So if you want put in your original offer.

Don't fall in love with a house! If you get emotionally attached you could end up paying too much.

If you put in an offer and they counter it, don't feel obliged to counter again. You are perfectly within your rights to say no, that's as high as we go. We did that one time and it worked really well. We offered, they countered with $20k more, we said no, that's our final offer. A week later the agent was there with a contract for our original offer! Sometimes they just counter becausethe RE tells them to.

Good luck, and have fun!


#10 Lizzie1

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:39 AM

Thanks for all your tips!

Well someone else put in a offer on the place, so we did too.
How annoying is it that they don't tell you how much the offer was for?! Anyway it turns out that we missed out (which I was kind of expecting) 4 people put in offers and someone ended up getting it for $560,000 which is a heap of money for a place that didn't even have a yard or a courtyard!
Anyway we'll keep looking - and I figure it was good practice tongue.gif
Still haven't found a conveyancer or a solicitor, but figure we still have time for that?!

Channy and Primm I hope your right and the market does drop some more - Melbourne is soooo expensive!

I think at this rate will be 50km out of the city or in a one bedroom flat! huh.gif
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#11 beachgurl

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:03 PM

lizzie I read a lot of property magazines and go to economics seminars and all are pointing to a downturn in the Melbourne market. Keep a look out for properties that seem to sit on the market for a while and then make a silly offer. There may be nothing wrong with them other than the owner putting too high a price on it originally and lost the interest of buyers.

Hope you find something soon. Househunting can be so stressful.

#12 Oldie

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:33 PM

We have used Sargeants several times now and found them to be very good.

Keep in mind though that you can't use the same one the sellers are using, so have a back up incase you need one.

I echo what Jen said, look at houses that have been on the market for a while, the sellers may be more willing to accept a lower offer to get rid of it.

When you do find a house, make sure you get a building inspection done and have it included in your contract that sale is dependant on the outcome of the building inspection. It also gives you some room to negotiate price if the report comes back with $$$ repairs needing to be done.

Do you have to buy in the SE? You may find you get better value for money in other areas of Melbourne.

Good luck with your house hunting.
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#13 ~AnA~

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 04:34 PM

QUOTE(Primm @ May 31 2011, 08:53 AM) View Post

Actually the way they are licenced is different in QLD to Vic. In Victoria you can be licensed as a conveyancer without being a solicitor. In QLD a solicitor has to supervise the contracts even if the person doing them up is a qualified conveyancer. So there's generally no price difference up here or the solicitor is cheaper because they don't have the extra conveyancing qualifications. But it's a completely different story down south.


Ah, so that might be the explanation - thanks Primm.

QUOTE(Lizzie1 @ May 31 2011, 10:39 AM) View Post

Channy and Primm I hope your right and the market does drop some more - Melbourne is soooo expensive!


Yes I think the market will drop further as well...

Good luck!

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