Be ready to pounce on your ideal property with our essential house-hunting guide.
With hundreds of properties listed every month, how do you keep up with the market and only shortlist and visit homes that could actually become the one you’ll end up buying? Follow our tips for a successful search that saves you time and stress.
Know what you can afford
Before you even start coming up with your property wish list, it’s vital to know just what you can afford. Speaking with an accredited Aussie broker can be a great way to understand your borrowing power and budget for buying a home.
Make your wish list
Although there are lots of buyers out there, the good news is not everyone is chasing the same properties. Taking a good, long look at your lifestyle and priorities will help you come up with a wish list for where you want to live and the sort of home you want to buy. Maybe you have your heart set on living in a particular suburb. Or perhaps your requirements are more general, and somewhere within striking distance of the CBD, with access to good schools, shops and cafes will do.
If your budget can’t get you everything you want in your ideal suburb, you may need to settle for a trade-off between the type of property and location. Is it more important to buy in the right spot and settle for a smaller property or one that needs a lot of work? It all depends on your own needs and what you’re looking for from your new home.
Get to know the market
So you’ve taken a good hard look at your needs, now it’s time to get some key facts about your target properties and suburbs. RP Data Core Logic is an independent research company offering a wealth of information on property including median values, suburb reports, volume of sales and more. Their Property Value website is a great go-to for key market insights in suburbs where you’re searching.
As well as knowing what your target property type is selling for, it’s good to look at days on the market and average vendor discounting figures. If properties are turning over fast, you won’t have much luck bargaining with sellers and agents. When you’re seeing homes on the market for longer and being discounted, you’ve got better odds of holding out for a lower price.
Stay on top of the latest listings
So which should be your go-to app for the actual search? Well it’s really a two-horse race with www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au both offering a complete house hunting resource and app. Whichever you decide to choose – and there’s no harm in using both to make sure you’ve got every listing covered – you can make good use of their tools and alerts to keep you posted about new properties hitting the market.
But even in the digital age, there can still be some value in telling local real estate agents in your target area what you’re looking for. Having an inside track to a new listing might just help you get the jump on buyers relying on apps and websites to deliver the right home into their hands.
Are you starting out on the hunt for your first home? What tools and advice have you used to guide you in your search?