Finding your property
A major part of the moving process is finding your ideal next home. It will probably mean lots of internet searches, endless looking in real estate agency windows, and nights of flicking through local papers. To make the hunt just a little bit easier, we’ve got some tips and tools.
Secure loan pre-approval
It can be heartbreaking to find the perfect place only to learn that you can’t afford it. Even worse is losing your deposit because you won at an auction but couldn’t secure finance for the balance of the purchase price. Don’t risk it.
With pre-approval you’ll know how much you can borrow and how much you can spend and you won’t waste time looking at places out of your price range. Talk to your mortgage broker about having loan pre-approval in place before you start the hunt.
“Location, location, location.” When it comes to real estate clichés, it’s an oldie but a goodie. Location is crucial to your lifestyle and to your property’s potential resale value.
- How far you’re willing to travel to get to work?
- How good are the local schools, shopping centres and other public facilities like parks and sporting grounds?
- How convenient is public transport?
Consider that other, think about that other real estate cliché that’s stood the test of time: “Pick the worst house in the best street”.
Take notes and make a list
If you’ve been home hunting for a while, one property can start to blend into another.
Rather than relying on memory, make notes about the places you visit. Turn your priorities into a personalised home shopping list of features and requirements.
You’ll save hours if you make a list ahead of time and only check out those places that meet most of the requirements on your list.
- What you like about where you currently live
- What you don’t like about where you currently live
- The number of bedrooms you want
- The number of bathrooms
- Whether you want a garage, a fireplace, a view, a bathtub, and loads of storage
- You might not find everything on your list but at least you’ve narrowed the field.
Do your homework
Check out recent home sale prices in your preferred areas. Look at market trends, houses for sale and suburb statistics. There are lots of websites out there to help.
Another good way to get a feel of the market value in the area you’re interested in is to go to auctions and keep an eye on auction results.
Consider using a buyer’s agent
A buyer’s agent house hunts for you and they only take you to see properties that meet your criteria. Because they’re always scouting the market, the agents have a good idea of a property’s real value and can help you secure a property at a realistic price. So while there’s a charge for the service, a buyer’s agent could actually save you money.
Only start looking when you are really ready
House hunting can be frustrating. Don’t put yourself through it if you are not really emotionally or financially ready to buy a home.
Make time at the end of your house hunting expedition to unwind, calm your thoughts and emotions and keep the whole experience in perspective.