I have a confession to make.  I’ve been lazy.

My laziness has come back to bite me.  And cause me pain.

I love renovating.  I love everything about it – from choosing the right property, to calculating the numbers, visualising the end result, organising the trades and selling for a profit.

What I’ve avoided in the past is what I call “the boring stuff”.  Arranging finance, endless paperwork, bank accounts, blah, blah, blah.

I justified my laziness by creating the story that my husband and I are a team.  He does the finance stuff and I do the reno stuff.  We complement each others’ weaknesses and strengths.

So what happens when I find myself purchasing a property without a partner?  Well, pain!

I can assure you that ignorance is NOT bliss.  It is embarrassing.  It causes mistakes.  And stress.

On the positive side, the process of purchasing my first property “all by myself” has been a huge learning curve for me.  I want to share my learnings with you so that you can avoid the pain of ignorance that I have experienced.

1.  Be prepared

Obviously, you will be expected to be organised with all your financial paperwork.  

Be prepared for curved balls that will come out of the blue.  That way, you can keep your stress levels down when they appear.

2.  What NOT to do

Here’s some advice based on my recent experience:-

  • Don’t expect results over the Christmas/New Year period.  I knew there would be delays with office closures and public holidays but it still caused me stress.
  • Don’t send your passport away for a tourist visa at the same you are trying to gain approval for a loan!  Yes, you can provide other identification documents to your finance provider but they like to see your passport.
  • Do understand what assets and liabilities you have.  These will include credit card limits and directorship of non-trading trust accounts.
  • Don’t remain in the dark regarding the workings of trust structures.  Accountants and tax professionals can’t provide answers when they are closed for the Christmas break!

3.  Be crystal clear about your intentions

Make up your mind before you apply for finance and inform your mortgage broker what you intend to do with the property.

Here are some questions to help you be clear.

Do you want to apply for an investment loan for an investment property?  If so, are you happy to pay interest only?

Do you want to live in the house yourself?  If so, do you intend to pay off the loan?

How long do you expect to hold the property?  Some lenders have hefty early-exit fees, so the more your broker understands your intentions, the easier it is for them to recommend the best product for your circumstances.

Don’t stress

Whatever happens, happens.  Go with the flow.

Remember, the deal of the decade comes about every week.  And if you miss out on this one, there must be a better one waiting for you.

You will feel so pleased with yourself when you purchase your first property, knowing that you knew a little, learnt alot and achieved well.  I know, I did.