It’s all too common that buyers have their hearts set a home to no sooner find out it has been either purchased by someone else, or tricked into buying something that really wasn’t for them! I will provide you with valuable insight to help ensure home-buying becomes a time of excitement for you and your family.
1. Speak to your Accountant – You must be well aware of your financial limits and the repercussions of interest rate fluctuations. Know your fixed and variable terms, always bank on a worst case scenario. Investors should understand the tax benefits of either positive or negatively gearing themselves.
2. ‘Location’ BEFORE ‘House’ – You can always improve upon a house in the future as it is within your means of control; however, improving the location relies upon socioeconomic variables which all comes down to external factors. In summary, do your research – KNOW WHERE YOU ARE BUYING – what does the future hold for your location of choice? …or is it of no relevance?
3. The ‘Added’ Extras – Make no mistake, the price you pay for a home doesn’t end there. Buying a home can cost as much as ten percent to your purchase price (eg Stamp duty). You also have the expenses that slowly start to creep in later – rates, taxes, insurance and maintenance. Budget on what you NEED (living) now and what you WANT (leisure) later.
4. Scared to buy at Auction? There can be no mistaking that Auctions most certainly have their time and place in delivering great results for home-sellers. However, this is where the ‘Auction Clearance Rates’ start to become distorted. A home-buyer that has done their research will beat an auction every time. MY 3 TIER PROCESS:
Point 1 – You will be purchasing on ‘unconditional terms.’ Make sure you seek independent legal advice from your solicitor before you SIGN to something you may soon regret. We can now move onto…
Point 2 – If you purchase under the hammer, know when to START and when to STOP bidding – there are plenty more homes out there. There is no better time to ‘listen’ to your Accountants advice. We can now move onto…
Point 3 – If the property falls at Auction, as a buyer, you must understand this – vendors have paid good money to market their property and put it up for Auction. It’s the ‘hidden gem’ of the researched home-buyer: ‘An agent desperate to save face and a home-seller looking to recover their costs.’ RESEARCH IS VITAL.
5. Avoid being Gazumped – Sad to say, as I’m sure most of you have gone through the same pain as most – there is no such thing as a verbal promise anymore. My advice is this, if you like the home, put your best foot forward and submit your opening offer in writing. I would highly advise forwarding the marketing material and all ‘written offers’ to your solicitor to best protect against being gazumped in the future. Written ensures accountability, verbal doesn’t. The NSW Department of Fair Trading is also a suggested avenue if you have every evidence to suggest foul play.
6. Pest/Building Inspections and Valuations – If you are ever in two minds about whether or not you have over spent on a home, hire an independent valuer. A pest and building report should be mandatory as part of your purchasing criteria to ensure you are buying something of sound and safe quality, not likely to become a money pit in the future.
7. The right time to buy – NOT when an agent or the market says so… It’s when YOU are ready to do so! Markets tend to move together – If you sell high, you will be buying high. Remember, do your research as that is just a general rule of thumb.
… I hope this helps any frustrated Home-Buyers out there. In case you haven’t noticed, there is a very common theme amongst my article. Always seek independent advice from licensed professionals – entering real estate with ‘no experience’ can be brutal. However, ‘with experience’ by your side… it’s simply beautiful.
1. Sea change – migration to the beach still remains a big factor.
2. Hill change – The property boom at the start of this decade made inner-city and coastal locations too dear for many buyers, forcing them to look elsewhere and find good pickings inland, within a reasonable distance of the city and/or beach.
3. The Stayers – They’re the ones that provide at least some growth each year, in good times and bad. Outer suburbs and regional centres are more likely to be the stayers than the expensive near-city suburbs.
4. Ripple Effect – Property booms often begin with the inner-city suburbs. As prices rise, they become unaffordable for many buyers – who seek less expensive property nearby.
5. Transport Infrastructure – New roads and train lines can create value growth. Industrial property benefits the most from new motorways, residential is also boosted. A major new road can open up previously inaccessible areas or provide faster connections to the CBD for commuters. Rail links and bridges can have similar impacts on Real Estate.
6. Education/Medical Infrastructure – Most major cities have education and medical infrastructure located in the one precinct. The suburbs surround such facilities tend to out-perform on capital growth.
7. Lifestyle Features – The greatest wealth creator in Real Estate is water. Homes fronting golf courses command price premiums too, but not as high as water frontage. Increasingly buyers are paying premiums to live near “eat street” lifestyle precincts.
8. Ugly Ducklings – Some suburbs were once shunned as down market but now are regarded as trendy. Ugly ducklings can transform into real estate gems. Whenever affordability is a key issue, ugly ducklings with potential to change will do well.
9. Boom Areas – Sometimes areas take off for a specific reasons. This can be because of resources activity nearby, as development of major industrial projects can have a similar impact. The key factor is jobs creation!
10. Urban Renewal & Govt Decisions – State/Local Governments can transform areas through policy decisions or targeted action. Urban renewal programs have changed the character of suburbs, sometimes turning industrial areas into prestige residential. Regional policy decisions, such as long term growth management plans, can also have an impact.
1. Wash windows inside and out, polish all mirrors. Sparkle is free, sparkle sells homes.
2. Rake the yard and trim bushes. Clean out dead leaves and debris on lawn. Clear vegetation blocking windows or paths to the entrance.
3. Mow diagonally and edge the lawn along the driveway and footpaths. Artfully manicured lawns tell buyers you pay attention to small details. Diagonally mowed lawns make your yard appear larger.
4. Transplant tulips and daffodils or buy flowers in containers. Yellow flowers stimulate buying urges. Yellow tullips and daffodils induce feelings of happiness and contentment. Arrange containers in clusters near the entrance.
5. Clean curtains and blinds – open every window. Get rid of all accumulated dust and cobwebs. Crisp linens and breezes invite the season in.
6. Set out scented flowers. Natural scents are more appealing than artificial. They bring colour and fragrance indoors.
7. Polish floors to a high gloss. Timber floors should be re-coated if necessary. Bleach dull grout. Thoroughly clean all rugs and carpets.
8. Put a new outside “welcome” mat for people to clean their shoes prior to entry.
9. Add towels, throws and linen in light colours: yellows, mint, pale blues, lavenders.
10. Keep all pets, pet bowls and beds outside whilst your home is on the market.
Buy this book for more in-depth styling ideas…
1. Think like a thief. Walk around your home assessing for weak spots.
2. Don’t leave the packaging of new appliances at the front of your home.
3. Don’t hide spare keys in obvious places.
4. Ensure external walls and drainpipes are free of unnecessary attachments to prevent climbing. Cut back shrubs and trees that conceal the home and give thieves a place to hide.
5. Get a home security assessment and consider installing a monitored security system.
6. If you’re going to be away from home for long periods, inform your neighbours so they can keep an eye on your property, and provide them with emergency contacts.
7. If you’re away, ask neighbours or friends to put out and bring in your bins and to collect mail.
8. Install good exterior lighting such as sensor lights at entry and and exit points of the home. If possible, time them to switch on automatically at night.
9. If you’re away, organise for a friend to park a car in the driveway and to move it around from time to time. If you install an alarm system, ensure it’s well maintained and advise your security company that you are going away. Place alarm signage where it can be seen.
10. If you place your home on the market to sell, you may consider purchasing a cheap home-security surveillance system. This will ensure you have no loiterers whilst your home is on the market and as an added bonus, to see how your agent is handling the sale of your home. Are they living up to their promise? Place surveillance signage where it can be seen.