Finding the Right House to Buy: The Definitive Guide
While looking for a house to buy begins with excitement, often it can become frustrating as it is hard to find something that ticks all the boxes, but is also affordable. Or maybe affordability is not an issue, but you are just not sure what is the best area to live, or what kind of property will best suit you needs.
Either way, finding the right house to buy can be a tedious and difficult process, particularly given it is a big commitment that will impact your life a significant way.
Thankfully, there is a lot of good advice around that have easy to follow steps and tips to give you more confidence, before you make a decision, that you are buying the house that is best for you.
This guide has a ton of information that will simplify the process of searching for a home to buy, and more importantly help you feel comfortable that you have made the right decision.
Having a clear understanding of what you want or need in a property is the first step in ensuring you find the right house for you. There are many aspects to a property, and it can get a bit overwhelming or confusing if you list too many things. So it is best to write down the 3-5 key requirements for the property that are most important to you and focus on them in your property search.
To help you get started, here are some examples of key features you may want in a house.
When buying a house in Australia, there are a few things to be aware of. If you know these things up front, it will help you to avoid pitfalls and disappointment along the way. These include aspects like;
How much you can afford and budgeting appropriately for loan repayments;
What banks require to get a loan and pre-approval, and their fees and charges;
Government fees and taxes, such as stamp duty;
Options for people who are not Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents
First home owner grants and concessions;
Insurance, titles, among other things.
While this may seem a bit overwhelming, luckily there are many fantastic resources and organisations that can help you with what you need to know for your circumstances.
The Australia.gov.au website is a great place to start, with a load of useful, non-bias information and tools.
The MoneySmart website also has some good advice to help you prepare;
So once you know what you want, and have reviewed information about what is required to buy a house in Australia, now you can start exploring and researching the area you want to buy a house in. If you are buying for investment purposes, this process may be a bit different compared to if you are buying to live in the house yourself. Either way, it is a good idea to start exploring and researching long in advance from when you plan to buy.
By researching and exploring over a long period, this will help you to be confident about the location, and more importantly help you to spot a great deal.
Start out by picking a few areas you are interested in and drive around them to narrow down the areas you like the most to buy a house.Your Investment Property has some practical steps you can implement to help you be more objective with this process.
Realestate.com.au also has a great guide on ways to explore locations and suburbs effectively.
Set up alerts for the areas and type of house of you are interested in on websites like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. This way you will start to get a very good idea of the asking price range for different kinds of houses.
Attend open homes to see the house in the “the flesh”.After the house is sold, check out the actual sold price. After you do this a few times you will know whether the asking price is generally higher, lower or about the same to the final sold price for the area or areas you are looking in.
The major websites also have sold price information available for free that you can review.
Tips to Help You Choose a House
Once you know what you want, have prepared adequately, and have done a lot of research, you are ready to make a choice as to what house to buy. However, often there are a few houses that could meet your criteria. It is a big life decision (or at least a large amount of money to spend if you are investing).
How do you know that you have made the right choice?
So you have made a choice on the house you want to buy. How do you ensure you get the best possible deal? The house price research you did up front is a key way of ensuring that you know what is a good deal for type of house for the area you are buying in. If you want some extra assurance and help, sometimes investing in a buyers agent is not a bad idea.
Investopedia’s Top 8 House-Hunting Mistakes has some great advice on ensuring that you don’t make an offer or choose house based on emotion.
Congratulations! You have bought a place to call home, or to rent out as an investment. If you followed the tips and advice in this guide, you can be pretty certain that you have bought the best property for you given your circumstance, and what you wanted.
So now, time to move in, or rent it out if you are investing.