Choosing a property is one of the most difficult and exciting decisions you can make. When you’re involved in such a time consuming (and expensive!) search, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by options. Below are six tips aimed at soothing your senses and helping you find the right property for your situation.
One of the most crucial choices you will make on your real estate journey is in your choice of estate agent. Choose and research your agent – find properties where you appreciate the presentation and effort applied by the agent. Marshall White estate agents suggest that ‘quality and integrity’ are important traits to seek out in an agent. Do your research and find the estate agent that’s right for you.
It’s important to be as realistic as possible when looking at real estate.
There’s no use in seeking out properties which are well beyond your grasp, and they’ll only add to any dissatisfaction you feel for the more realistic options.
Be mindful of having realistic price indicators. Do some research of properties in areas of interest and work out what you’re willing to pay based upon those figures. Work out how much space you require and seek out the value of homes with the right amount of square metres. These small bits of research can save you large amounts of time and heartache down the track.
Make The Connection
Some further important factors when looking for your ideal property – transport connections and local facilities. If you’re looking for maximum time and cost savings, good transport connections are your key to convenience.
Most major cities will have their public transport options and routes available via Google Maps – it’s a small piece of research which will have you more confident in your available options.
While you’re looking at maps, check for nearby amenities – parks, shopping centres, schools and waste disposal centres. These seemingly small details will make a world of difference to your quality of life.
Rule Of Thirds
There has long existed a shorthand rule for housing affordability – the third of income rule. It’s a basic way of figuring out whether you can afford to live comfortably in a house (either renting or paying a mortgage) by dividing your combined income in three. Your housing costs should take up no more than a third of your overall income – especially if you’re renting.
An example: James and Meredith earn a combined (net) income of $2200 per week. Their total housing costs should equal no more than $733 per week. It’s an easy-to-remember equation for creating a mental housing budget.
Try Before You Buy
If you’re unable to commit to a location or are unable to commit to a property, your best bet might be to try before you buy. Find a short-term rental property in your target area and create a series of tests and answers to questions on the local area.
What is your daily commute like? Do you like the neighbourhood? Are there any good local cafes, bars or restaurants? Use the time to decide if you enjoy the area to enough to commit to a purchase.
Consider your level of commitment to ongoing maintenance and repair. If you’re looking at properties labelled ‘renovator’s dream’ and ‘fixer upper’, then you’re in for a fair bit of initial work to get the property up to standard. Other than inducting new costs, there’s also considerable time and effort involved in renovation. Take this into account when budgeting.
Some properties also require excessive maintenance – properties featuring large external grounds, swimming pools, and intricate gardens. If you’re not willing to pay for their upkeep, consider their actual value to the property and whether it’s worth the ongoing commitment.
Ultimately, any decision related to property procurement will be difficult, but you can take steps to make to process easier on your head and your wallet. Your dream property is out there, a few measured, well-researched bricks away.