The weather is warming up and so is the property market.
Spring has always been the most popular time to buy and sell a property. So it’s likely that more of you will be looking for a new home around now. But it’s important not to rush into such a big purchase.
Buying is emotional.
When looking to buy a new home, you will naturally feel some emotional connection with properties you like. But being ruled totally by your heart may result in an undesirable outcome. So how can you reduce the chance of being blinded by that stunning view, garden or location and give a big investment decision the respect it deserves?
Think like a property investor!
Because after all, the home you are buying is an investment – and probably the biggest one you’ll ever make. But experienced property investors look at buying opportunities differently.
They start by understanding there are investment choices and make their decision based on facts. If the facts don’t stack up, they move on and look for the next (often better) opportunity.
This approach gives property investors more control of the buying process. Let’s face it – it is hard to have control when you’ve already fallen in love with that stylish en-suite or huge walk-in wardrobe.
Have a plan.
Successful investors have a process for making their decision and they stick to it. Below are some simple rules you can follow and that will help you feel more confident and less stressed about the whole process:
1. What sort of property do you need?
Making this decision is in fact more important than focusing on the location (step 2). The reason is simple. The costs of buying a property are very high and while location is important – buying a property that doesn’t suit your needs can be a very expensive mistake.
You also need to balance your needs with your budget. Talk to your lender or broker early so you know how much you can afford to spend (I mean invest). This trade-off between your needs and your budget will also influence the likely location of your future home.
2. Research your location
Of course, if you can get the type and size of property you need in your desired location it’s a bonus. But make sure you understand what you are buying first:
- Walk around the areas you like.
- Look at properties on the market that appear to fit your needs.
- Look at recent sales to get the feel for prices people were prepared to pay.
- Attend some auctions.
- Let local agents know what you are looking for and how much you can afford, and, importantly, let them know you are going through an investment process.
You also need to start thinking about things like the positioning of properties:
- Which properties have the best outlook?
- Do they get winter sun, too much summer sun or no sun at all?
- Are there other properties looking in on you? And so on.
Research will give you the necessary knowledge and confidence when you start to look more seriously.
3. Start getting serious
Don’t forget this is when your emotions can take control if you aren’t careful. Remember, you are about to make a big investment. Despite what your heart might be telling you, there is no such thing as the perfect property, as you will find out when you move in.
A good way of keeping your feet on the ground when you find a property you like is to undertake due diligence just like an investor would. This means checking out the condition of the property and its market value.
4. Get some advice
If you were buying a used car, you want to know that it’s in decent mechanical shape, right? So why would you make an investment equal to buying a whole car yard without some expert help?
- A good property lawyer/conveyancer to give you advice on the contract of sale.
- A Building and Pest or Strata Records inspector will help you to check the condition of the property you are looking at.
- A property valuer will tell you its current market value.
The costs of these services are small compared to the size of your investment and being systematic about your due diligence will give you more confidence in negotiations with the selling agent.
5. Saying ‘No’ is also an investment decision
Finally, you must be prepared to walk away if a property does not pass muster. Deciding not to buy can seem hard because you’ve spent time and money in getting this far. But now is not the time to compromise.
Just be careful you don’t create a wish list that is impossible to satisfy in your price range. Otherwise you might be looking for a very long time.
Good luck with your spring house hunting!
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The EYEON Property Inspections Team
At EYEON Property Inspections, we help you buy and sell with more confidence.