When looking for a new home, you should consider creating a property wish list to figure out what you want – and what you need.
Whether you’re a renter or buyer, you most likely have a basic checklist for finding a new home. And even if you’re not sure what you’re after, it’s important to work out your needs and desires so that you can take a realistic approach to your new home.
You might be a first home buyer, or moving on to your next house or apartment, but either way, where you look will be influenced by what you can afford. If you currently own a property, you should find out what is your home worth, and what you can realistically expect when selling. If it’s your first time buying, some financial planning will also be necessary, and making sure you have savings.
Your financial planner, bank and mortgage broker can offer guidance in these early stages.
There are lots of resources online and in smart device apps that help streamline the process of buying a new home or apps to help you save. A budget calculator can help you figure out what you can realistically afford, and what your disposable income will look like when you’re paying off your mortgage.
Needs versus wants
What you need and what you want don’t always match, but there are some things that might not be negotiable. Things to consider include:
- Neighbourhood – Do you like urban or suburban areas? Noisy, quiet, or in-between?
- Amenities – If you have children or are planning a family, having parks and good schooling may be important. You may also want to determine if you want to be near a shopping centre, train station or bus stop.
- Walkability – Don’t own a car, or you love to walk? Maybe you’re environmentally conscious and prefer walking as a first choice. You can check out an area’s walkability online with websites like Walk Score.
- Parking – This is especially important if you live in a suburb with limited street parking.
- Size – How many people will be moving in? Is there enough space for everyone?
- Bedrooms – How big do you want your bedroom to be, and what features are a must? Some people won’t settle for less than a generously-sized built-in wardrobe.
- Old vs new: Are you happy to move in to a well-lived space, or do you want a modern home with new features?
- Laundry: If you’re looking for an apartment, is an internal laundry a necessity, or would you be happy with a shared laundry?
- Outdoor space: Do you need to have somewhere outdoors to escape, like a balcony, courtyard or backyard, or is that a luxury you could live without?
Once you’ve worked out your needs versus wants when finding a new home, take a look at what’s available in the market and the cost to rent or buy your preferred property.
If you’re looking to buy, speak to your local Aussie Mortgage Broker about what you can afford.
Have you worked out your needs versus wants? What else did you have on your list?