When you’re buying a home there’s no denying that there’s a lot to think about, but that doesn’t mean that the process needs to be stressful.
Enjoy the process, it is exciting and the rewards can be worth the work that is required.
Before you embark on the process, familiarise yourself with these tips to make the experience as seamless as possible.
1. Don't believe the hype (good or bad)
When you set out to buy a house, you will likely quickly become familiar with deciphering real estate speak and how people market homes. The key takeaway here is, do your own research to find out a house, area you like and so on is right for you. Don't just take someone else's word for it.
Suburb profile pages will offer data like median property prices, the impact of interest rates, the average number of people looking for property in that suburb versus the number of properties for sale. All this gives you a great insight into the suburbs you're considering for your next move or investment so you can leap with confidence into the adventure.
What matters is whether it's your right time to buy, for your needs and circumstances. Knowing the state of play is useful to help you calibrate that decision, but shouldn't be the only thing that motivates.
2. Be clear on what's important to you
You want a property that delivers what you need now, or enough of what you need that you're happy to compromise for longer term capital growth. Be very clear about what matters most to you and shortlist suburbs that deliver on those needs.
Look around the area you're thinking of buying in, grab a coffee, or meal and pretend you're already living there to see if distances are what they seem, and atmosphere is living up to expectations.
Of course it will be a little different once you're moved in, but experiencing it first hand gives you a critically useful taste for the reality of that location.
Look closely at what developments or infrastructure is planned around the area in case your quiet corner is about to become a developer's haven.
3. Consider surrounding suburbs
If your target suburb is out of budget, consider more affordable neighbouring suburbs.
Before you buy, talk to locals to get residents views on the suburb and its best streets. Reading local publications and connecting with local websites, bloggers or personalities can also give you helpful insight.
If you're attracted to an area because of its rising value, remember that may spill over into next door suburbs.
4. Talk to the experts
Talk to local agents to find out what's happening in the market.
You may not get your dream home right away and that's ok. Consider apartments instead of houses in the location you are wanting to purchase, they are often more affordable and put you in your desired location. Or you may choose a property that needs a little TLC, but ticks other boxes.
5. Monitor close to home
If you're looking to buy a property in an area where you're already living, take a close look at other properties that go up for sale nearby. Look at how they're marketed, how well inspections are attended and how long they spend on the market. This will give you an indication of how the market is doing in your neighbourhood and can guide you on the price you should be paying for a property close by
6. Inspect smartly
Smart sellers naturally stage their homes to make sure they look their best when you view them. You'd do the same.
Remember to look between the lines (or cushions) for issues that might not be immediately obvious. Take along a list of practical things to check – things like adequate power points, hole or cracks. That way, if you fall instantly in love, you won't suddenly forget to sanity check for possible pain points.
Take notes and get your building or pest inspector to follow up on anything unusual or concerning.