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  1. #1
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    Default Help me buy my first home - property newbie questions

    So DH and I have obtained pre-approval from the bank to buy our first home! Very exciting but also incredibly daunting.

    Firstly, does anyone have any really great tips or general advice?

    Secondly, I have a couple of questions.

    - If you find a property advertised online (eg real estate.com or domain) and it says 'under offer', how do you interpret this? Does it just mean someone has made an offer and it's being seriously considered, or is it likely it's close to being a done deal? Is it worth contacting the agent still?

    - Does 'under contract' mean it's pretty much a done deal and don't bother enquiring?

    - Most properties have an online link to send an enquiry online. Is this worth doing, or is it best to call and speak with the agent as a first point? I'm the type that favours doing things online, however I don't want to miss out on opportunities by being too reserved regarding dealing with agents.

    - We have a limit as to how much we want to borrow. How far above the limit would you stray when looking at a property (e.g, if your absolute limit was $600,000, would you still look at a property advertised for 20K or 30K over?

    I realise some of these questions might be hard without knowing the market in my area, but I will say that the market (at this stage) does not seem to have suffered much due to COVID-19 (yet). The range on offer is not vast right now either.

    We have 90 days to find a house, as we have secured a spot with the first home owner's deposit scheme.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Under contract - generally contracts are signed and waiting for finance/pest etc. Sometimes they fall through. Mostly not. So I would keep an eye if you like it. Contact in case it falls through.

    Under offer - it's worth st ikll speaking to the RE. Generally negotiating at that point.

    Call/email directly. I never used the contact form.

    Never offered above. Never would. But that's me.

    Congrats!

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    Mod-Degrassi (11-06-2020)

  4. #3
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    Congrats of the pre approval and getting into the scheme!

    Under offer/under contract on websites is the same thing , just depends on what system the agent uses to what word they use but in NSW it means contracts are signed with a cooling off period which means it could fall through but while under contract no one else can buy it - then once the cooling off expires it goes to the sold section - if it’s something you really like definitely email/call the agent and asked to be notified if it falls through

    I would always call the agents and develop a relationship with them, get added to their data bases as we often have off market properties, go to the open houses and meet them, get to know all the homes in your area in your price range

    I would look up to $650,000 , just in case it’s overpriced and they end up reducing it or will take a lower offer if in a hurry to sell , with a lack of stock things are still selling well but it doesn’t hurt to look!

    Good luck!

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    Mod-Degrassi (11-06-2020)

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    - If you find a property advertised online (eg real estate.com or domain) and it says 'under offer', how do you interpret this? Does it just mean someone has made an offer and it's being seriously considered, or is it likely it's close to being a done deal? Is it worth contacting the agent still?

    It means someone has made an offer and it has been verbally agreed upon. I don't know of the laws regarding this, but some RE agents will not accept further offers if currently under offer.

    - Does 'under contract' mean it's pretty much a done deal and don't bother enquiring?

    Yes. Put your name down regardless if the property appeals to you.
    Under contract means the offer has been accepted, the buyer has put down a deposit, with both parties having signed and begun the process. The contract being fulfilled is dependent on the buyer meeting all conditions though, so it could still fall through. It's not common, but if it does happen you would want to be first in line.


    - Most properties have an online link to send an enquiry online. Is this worth doing, or is it best to call and speak with the agent as a first point? I'm the type that favours doing things online, however I don't want to miss out on opportunities by being too reserved regarding dealing with agents.

    I would suggest to call. Conversations over the phone often go on a tangent and you could miss valuable information that arise from these impromptu moments. Call them and ask every question you can think of. Be neutral and do not appear desperate (so no disclosing you have 90 days to find a place)!

    - We have a limit as to how much we want to borrow. How far above the limit would you stray when looking at a property (e.g, if your absolute limit was $600,000, would you still look at a property advertised for 20K or 30K over?

    No, I wouldn't because you need to include your stamp duty in that 600,000. I would look at homes at 550k max if my limit was 600k. It's also wise to consider your monthly repayments - What can you afford to pay if the interest rate spikes to 7%? Would it still be a mortgage worth 600k?

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    Mod-Degrassi (11-06-2020)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissTwiggley View Post
    - If you find a property advertised online (eg real estate.com or domain) and it says 'under offer', how do you interpret this? Does it just mean someone has made an offer and it's being seriously considered, or is it likely it's close to being a done deal? Is it worth contacting the agent still?

    It means someone has made an offer and it has been verbally agreed upon. I don't know of the laws regarding this, but some RE agents will not accept further offers if currently under offer.

    - Does 'under contract' mean it's pretty much a done deal and don't bother enquiring?

    Yes. Put your name down regardless if the property appeals to you.
    Under contract means the offer has been accepted, the buyer has put down a deposit, with both parties having signed and begun the process. The contract being fulfilled is dependent on the buyer meeting all conditions though, so it could still fall through. It's not common, but if it does happen you would want to be first in line.


    - Most properties have an online link to send an enquiry online. Is this worth doing, or is it best to call and speak with the agent as a first point? I'm the type that favours doing things online, however I don't want to miss out on opportunities by being too reserved regarding dealing with agents.

    I would suggest to call. Conversations over the phone often go on a tangent and you could miss valuable information that arise from these impromptu moments. Call them and ask every question you can think of. Be neutral and do not appear desperate (so no disclosing you have 90 days to find a place)!

    - We have a limit as to how much we want to borrow. How far above the limit would you stray when looking at a property (e.g, if your absolute limit was $600,000, would you still look at a property advertised for 20K or 30K over?

    No, I wouldn't because you need to include your stamp duty in that 600,000. I would look at homes at 550k max if my limit was 600k. It's also wise to consider your monthly repayments - What can you afford to pay if the interest rate spikes to 7%? Would it still be a mortgage worth 600k?
    Stamp duty is exempt for FHB in NSW

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    Mod-Degrassi (11-06-2020)

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    @Mod-Degrassi have you looked into the first home super saver scheme? This close to EOFY, it may be worth getting on to! You do have to apply for it to be paid out before putting an offer in though and it can take a few weeks to a month to be released.

    Another thing, with the Federal fhb deposit scheme, you do have a timeframe that you can extend this, so check what that is and keep it in mind so you don't feel pressure to buy asap.

    Also, have you looked at building? Combining the nsw fhb grant, the federal grant and the stamp duty exemption makes it such a good deal here. I'm not sure what it's like where you are though.

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    Sorry, I know none of that applies to what you asked I've been looking at when/if we can buy over the past few weeks and these are some things that I've found can make a big difference to our options.

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    As others have said, under offer / under contract generally means it’s a done deal however the sale can sometimes fall though.

    I’d still look at properties a little above your budget as you might be able to get the property for less and it will also give you a better feel for the market.

    Good luck!!!

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    Would you like to buy my house? I put it on the market last week!

    I think most of your questions have been answered.

    I definitely look at properties above my budget. I like to see how they all compare. Sometimes you see one that is overpriced and know that at some stage it will drop. Also you never know what position the seller is in. For instance I’m ready to go, I’d take $20k less than my list price if someone offered me cash this week (but I wouldn’t if they were in some complicated sell chain). At the moment a quick sale is worth more to me then full asking with a long settlement, other sellers maybe in the same situation.

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  18. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicmama View Post
    Stamp duty is exempt for FHB in NSW
    I thought it was concessional, or was legislation recently amended?


 

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