However, knowing what you are looking for, when to compromise and how much to spend will help you achieve property buying success. This is why it is so important to plan, prepare and buy with the right mind. We look at some important aspects to keep in mind when buying your next property.
Now, you probably already have your ideal home in mind, but it’s important to do your research before you start house hunting. Make sure your finances are in order and work on a budget before you start viewing properties. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a property that is definitely out of your price range!
If you are like most home buyers and require a mortgage, start by saving a deposit before researching different mortgage options and shopping around for the best deal. The general rule of thumb when it comes to being approved for finance is to have five percent of the total amount of the loan in the form of a deposit. So once you know how much you are looking to spend, you can work out roughly what sort of deposit you will need. Consider visiting a finance consultant who will help you outline how much you can afford to borrow and the different types of mortgages available to you. These services generally do not come with a fee so you really have nothing to lose.
So what do you really need in a home? Write down everything you need and want in a property, be it a big back yard for your dogs to run around in, or an isolated extension such as a granny flat for you older relative or teenager. Compare these specifications to available properties and short list potential options for viewing.
Some things you might want to consider include;
Number of bedrooms
Number of bedrooms can be a make or break for some home owners. Maybe your ideal home has three bedrooms, but if that means you'll have to stretch your budget, think carefully about whether you really need them. If you'd only use two bedrooms regularly, with the third used as a spare room for occasional guests, is it really worth spending the extra? Alternatively, you could always invest in a cheaper option - a sofa bed in the sitting room which could work just as well for a fraction of the price.
Do you require a unit, apartment or house? Would you prefer a character or new built property? Do you want one in a prime location or built with high specifications? Some of these options command a premium price, whilst you can often get a good deal on an alternative. A property in need of some renovation should have a lower asking price than one that's fully renovated, and a home that is two or three years old should be cheaper than one that's brand new in the same area.
Another key consideration is location – finding the right area that will meet your requirements. Besides the obvious safe neighbourhood, you should keep an eye out for an area that offers an abundance of good schools – both primary and secondary. This is even important for those who don’t have school age children, or even plan to have any as typically, the better the school district, the higher the values of the surrounding homes.
When it comes to location, it is also important to be close to recreational facilities such as popular places to shop, eat and relax and also consider your home’s proximity to your workplace. Do you need to be close to public transport or major freeways to get there?
The best places to begin your search for a new home are online property portals such as real estate company websites, REIWA, Domain or www.realestate.com.au. These solutions offers a quick and easy way of searching for properties online, letting you see what is on offer in different areas all in the one place.
Although property portals usually give you plenty of detail about each property, along with images and sometimes floorplans, you may be able to get more information by contacting the advertising real estate agent directly.
In areas where the market is fast-moving and competitive, properties will often sell before they hit the web, so make sure you register directly with estate agents too. This way you can ask what’s coming onto the market and see if any of these properties match your needs.
Additionally, be sure to monitor local newspapers in your ideal areas.
As you search through properties, your must-have specifications are likely to change. The more properties you view, the more you will learn about an area, certain property attributes and community features and the more important some will become over others.
Also, you might have created a list of needs, but it is important to be realistic and consider where you can make compromises if necessary. For example, perhaps you are after a 4x2 family home with a swimming pool. If you are struggling to find your dream home with a pool, perhaps you need to look for a property with a large yard, which may allow for a pool in the future.
Purchasing a property can be a very emotional experience, especially if you become attached to a particular property. However, you need to make sure that the decisions you make are both logical and smart.
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