House hunting is exciting but at Impact Property we also understand the process can be daunting and stressful too. There is often conflicting information on the property market, too many property choices and of course well-meaning but misguided advice from friends and relatives.
So we’ve compiled some tips to help you shop for a new property, whether it’s an investment property or a place to call home.
What Do You Want in the Property?
From our experience talking to buyers, many often don’t have a clear idea of what exactly they are after in a property. Here are some questions to ask yourself as a buyer, to ensure you have clarity and you’re more likely to be satisfied with your decision:
- Will the property act as an investment or as your home? This is important because the criteria for buying an investment property will be different to if you are buying a live-in home;
- What priority features would you like in your new property – What size land? Do you want a pool? How many bedrooms? Do you want an older-style Queenslander or contemporary property? Do you want to be within walking distance to parks, schools, shopping centres or public transport?
Research and Avoid Following the Crowd
Acting like a sheep and simply following the flock isn’t always right in real estate. We recommend as buyers you:
- Do your own research to determine which suburbs are hot (or not);
- Register on the B4 Real Estate App. This may get you in front of other buyers;
- Talk to a property economist or a knowledgeable realtor or mortgage broker to understand the current situation. During a downturn in the market buyers are in a good position and more likely to be able to negotiate on price and terms but in a heated market then buyer competition will be stronger and this may push up prices;
- Find out how in demand properties are in a particular suburb by talking to agents. Try to find out sales and auction clearance rates;
- Keep an eye out at properties for sale to determine how long they seem to be on the market;
- Go along to auctions and open homes;
- Find out median property prices, capital growth rates and even look into the median household income to get an idea of residents in the suburb.
Have Your Finances in Order
Many buyers want to make an offer on a property but only have a vague idea on how much they can borrow and don’t have pre-approval. We recommend buyers:
- Visit a financial planner, mortgage broker or your bank to know your borrowing power and determine a comfortable price range;
- Get a loan preapproval – by having a loan pre-approved you are often in a better negotiating position.
Sign up for Property Alerts
While you might not like the idea of being pestered by agents by signing up to alerts with agencies servicing suburbs of interest, you’ll get first notification on all new listings fitting your criteria. Property alerts can be a great time saver as all you have to do is book an inspection.
Building and Pest Inspections
Do your research and find a Building and Pest company that is reputable and will give you honest, unbiased feedback in relation to their findings.
While everyone likes to save money, conveyancing is one area where you it might be worth paying some extra bucks to save you headaches later on. It is always good to use a reputable conveyancing firm or specialist property lawyer to ensure there are no problems with settlement.
If you would like further guidance about buying a property, the team at Impact Property can offer further guidance.