Buyer Tips

Start with a financial plan and buying budget

If you have started looking at property without first consulting with your bank, finance broker, financial planner or tax accountant then STOP. The first part of a successful purchase is to know exactly what you can afford. More often than not, buyers do not consult a financial planner or their accountant. One or both of these professionals can often offer insights into how different properties can attract tax or financial benefits or negatives that could really affect the type of property you buy and the way that property can play a part, not only to meet your immediate living needs, but potentially to form part of an overall long term financial or investment plan. When all of these items are carefully considered as part of your total budget, you then should know with complete clarity what you will be able to afford. Empowered with this knowledge, hopefully you will be able to embark on a positive search that will ensure you don’t miss out on the right property that suits not only your financial criteria but fulfils your lifestyle needs.

Understand your target area and surrounding suburbs

More often than not, there are a variety of suburbs that will offer housing options within your budget. But are these options the right ones. As a general rule of thumb, homes within a 3-5km radius of where you have lived previously, is where you will feel most comfortable commencing your search. However, there can be a variety of property styles within these suburbs and the price variation can sometimes be mind boggling. We recommend that you know exactly the type of property style you would like to secure. Is it a large family home between 0 – 40 years old. Are you looking to enjoy the character and charm of an early 1900’s home on its own block or will you be happy to live on a subdivided portion. Do you want to build? Or are you looking for an apartment or villa, old or new, off the plan or just complete? Generally most areas have a good mix of housing options as state governments have tried ever so hard to accommodate a desired mix into their planning strategies to cater for vibrant communities. However all of these options are generally priced very differently. So depending on your budget, you will then know exactly what styles of property you should be looking at. If your budget doesn’t meet your emotional needs, then by understanding the variety of property on offer within your desired zone, you will quickly be able to consider other options on offer that will be very close comparables and meet your financial and lifestyle needs. By being completely informed, you will limit the time you need to consider a purchase and avoid missing out on a property that really was the “right one” for you.

Go to home opens in your price range

This goes without saying, however often buyers attend home opens for properties that are too far away from where their budget will allow them to buy. This can really cause confusion when you are trying to assess what your home shopping budget will get you and how prices in your desired area are performing. We recommend when starting your search to include properties that are 5-10% either way of your desired purchase budget. Put simply, the only way you will be comfortable and confident in deciding which home will ensure you have made the right purchase is to clearly understand what different homes sell for and why. More often than not, a home that may be $30,000 higher than you had hoped to pay, may actually end up providing you the best value if you are able to secure the property without needing any further financial investment in order to get the property to meet your living and lifestyle needs. In this way, you then will have the opportunity to re-assess your needs and maybe your budget whether that be positively or negatively. You may need to postpone your purchase intention, or, decide to purchase but know exactly what you will need to do in order to add value in the right way following your purchase. And of course when your future budget will allow. The ultimate outcome should ensure you have secured a property that will be suitable for your needs for a period of at least 5 years or more ideally.

Making an offer

Now that you know exactly what you can afford, exactly what is on offer in your area and have visited those properties which meet all of your criteria you will have hopefully decided on “the one”. Making an offer can be a daunting prospect. However, you will feel much more comfortable knowing you have reached this stage with all the information you need in order to make the right decision on the price and any conditions you will need to be considered as a part of your offer. With your finance ready, and your head and your heart in the right place, you will certainly make a good impression with your real estate agent and be able to make a competitive offer and approach negotiations with complete confidence. All of the hard work and time you have put into research, attending home opens and not to mention saving for your chance to by a property will hopefully now bring with it the privilege of being able to own either your first home or your make your next property move whether it be upgrading or downsizing the family home or making a smart investment for your future.