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Buying Tips

Buying a house can be daunting at the best of times, so we have devised a list of property buying tips to help you understand the process and get the best out of your property.

Establish your Goal – create a plan to establish the base in which you then use to begin your research. How long you intend to stay in your next home? Is it a 2, 5, 10 or 20 year plan? Are you thinking about growing your family or even downsizing? Are you wanting to be close to transport, schools, beach or shops?

Create an Ideals List and Budget– clearly define what priorities you and your family need. Start by writing a list of ‘Essentials’ and ‘Preferred’. Essentials can be as simple as a low maintenance garden, 3 or more bedrooms or even having builts ins, then make a list of preferred which may be a pool or even a water view which we all would like but can live without. By creating this list you determine what aspects of your new property are most important to you and your family. Clearly define a budget of what your minimum and maximum figures are at as well as factoring in hidden costs such as stamp duty, loan/legal/valuation fees, mortgage insurance, building and pest reports and strata reports.

Adding Potential – some properties are ready to go and need no work others have the ability to be extended or renovated. One important point to remember is if this is what your looking for then make sure the street and the suburb can absorb the price increase you would expect on sale. It can be very easy to over-capitalise on a renovation, so have a back up plan if the idea of extensions are on the cards. Keep in mind the hidden costs such as tree removal, excavations and council regulations.

Functional Floor plans – As you do the inspections think about how the floor plan might work for your family. Is there enough living room space, storage space, study nook or workroom. Assess the functionality of each space and if areas can be separated or joined together, as well as looking at how light impacts different areas.

Know the locals – Every real estate agent will tell you to drive, walk and eat in the areas you wish to buy in. Get a feel for the neighbourhood at different times of the day, this allows you get the vibe of the suburb as well as finding its problems such as times of traffic congestion. Examine whether the neighbours are house-proud or if the streets are in need of improvements, this can ultimately affect the sale price of your house when it comes time to sell.

Is Development in the air? – Talk to the local council and local residents to see if there is any new/redevelopment or rezoning planned for the area near your home. You never want a block of units being built next to your family home as that will increase traffic volume and de-value your property.

Know the Value – do your research with recent sales of surrounding houses, what did they sell for? What size and qualities did they have? There can be huge discrepancies between the value of similar homes in adjoining suburbs. Ask questions like how many houses sold in the area your wanting to buy in or how many have been sitting on the market for longer than 3 months? Try to identify which streets and locations within a suburb are the most highly sort after as these can tend to hold their values better.

Have your Finance in Check – one of the most critical aspects of the searching for the perfect property is to have all your finance and deposit ready. Have a solicitor or conveyancer to review the contract once you have negotiated on price. By having your finances in check this allows you to move quickly which usually results in a fast and easy transaction.