Kathryn Lee - 6 Aug, 2019

How to overcome first home buyer fears

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From intimidating real estate jargon to the anxiety of committing to the wrong property, we walk through the most common fears felt by first home buyers and how to overcome them.

While purchasing your first property certainly comes with a number of rewarding moments (signing the deal, handing over the keys and moving into your own home) – there are also a number of insecurities that can creep up on you throughout the buying process.

Market crash or market boom?

For many first home buyers, not knowing how the market will play–out can be the world’s most stressful waiting game.

Paul, 47, is currently looking to buy his first apartment but the uncertainty of the market is keeping him up at night.

“My biggest fear centres around the idea that prices could jump in the next six months but I haven’t managed to find the place I want, or even worse, I do manage to buy now but the prices fall dramatically in the near future and I’ve paid too much,” he says.

Paul believes the purchase of your first home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during life: “I think that’s where the fear comes from.”

While the current market might seem difficult to predict, buyers can still do their due diligence before purchasing to help give them the upper hand. This includes studying the area, researching the latest sale prices and potentially hiring an experienced buyer’s agent to help give industry advice. 

A change in lifestyle

Although Emma has been her own boss for quite some time, taking on a new full–time role recently has changed her approach to saving.

Taping into the First Home Super Saver scheme, Emma has asked her employer to make voluntary, pre–tax contributions into her super account. These can later be deducted and used as part of a deposit for her future home.

“It’s scary to reduce my take–home pay significantly and I’m fearful this will affect my lifestyle and other savings goals,” says the 27–year–old.

Focusing on the benefits of this sacrifice, Emma has been able to push those fears aside knowing she is improving her chance of owning a property by 30.

“It’s the only way I can realistically make this happen,” says Emma.

Speaking the language

Sometimes it can feel like the realtors, agents and mortgage brokers are speaking a completely different language to the rest of us. It doesn’t end there’s also the legal mumbo jumbo around contracts and paperwork.

For many buyers, not having an understanding of the terms being used can be incredibly intimidating. Not only can it lead to confusion, but it also increases feelings of imposter syndrome. Buyers feel excluded instead of supported and fear they are not making informed choices.

Monica, 31, found the terminology used by most agents “overwhelming and confusing.” It was only after independent research and speaking to recent buyers, she returned to the market with confidence.

“I spoke to a number of friends who had just bought their first home and they explained the terms, but also the whole process of buying,” says Monica.

“It was so helpful talking about everything with someone who had just experienced all the things I was going through and could explain it in a way I could understand.”

Susan, 29, had a similar experience. Searching for her first property with her partner, she felt blindsided by the buying process.

“What’s helped us most in feeling ready to buy was actually going to open homes, asking lots of questions and building our knowledge,” she explains.

“Even if you’re not ready to buy, just ask for a contract – then you can see what type of documents you’ll need to be familiar with when you are ready.”

Words by Alana Wulff

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