Whether it’s reading the weekend property articles, scrolling endlessly through home listings online, or watching renovation shows, the chances are you’ve done one of these things at some stage in your life.
Regardless of the economic climate or property prices, there are some fundamental factors you should consider before making a property purchase. In this blog post, we go through the main things to consider irrespective of your budget or experience.
What to look for when buying a property…
The age old saying, location, location, location, still rings true! Look for areas with good amenities, infrastructure and proximity to schools, hospitals, public transport and shopping centres. If the area is growing and there is a lot of infrastructure about to take off, this could be a good opportunity to get into a growth market ahead of the curve.
Determine which type of property suits your needs best and research it in your chosen locations. Perhaps you’re interested in houses for your growing family, or an apartment if you are ready to downsize or just entering the market as a first-time home buyer. Think about how many bedrooms you’ll need now and in the not-too-distant future. Sometimes we fall in love with a property only to realise it just doesn’t work a couple of years on. You must let practicality lead your decision process!
Determine your budget and stick to it. Consider not only the purchase price but also any additional costs such as stamp duty, legal fees, inspection reports, and ongoing expenses like council taxes and maintenance. Look at your current borrowing capacity and factor in potential rate increases so you can manage repayments now and if your lifestyle changes. Be savvy when it comes to financing and shop around for the best deals available. Consider things like the ability to have an offset account to minimise the interest paid on your loan.
Stay informed about the current state of the real estate market, read articles, research sale prices and rental yields in your chosen areas. Get to know local real estate agents and let them know what you’re looking for. Sometimes it is these conversations that get you ahead of your competition.
When buying property it is easy to rush into things, particularly when you have competition from other buyers, but taking the time to assess the site and undertake the relevant inspections will save you time and money in the long run. Another tip is to visit the property on different days, so you can consider traffic and noise. For example, if you only visit the property on weekends, you may not realise the street is gridlocked with cars twice a day for school pick up!
Research any upcoming developments or infrastructure projects planned for the area with Council. These may positively impact property prices, or conversely, reduce them if negative developments such as major highways are planned nearby.
So, next time you find yourself considering a property purchase, use the above as your checklist. We guarantee you will make a more informed decision that will pay off for you in the long run!