Buying a property is the largest investment most people ever make, yet all too often it’s a decision made in haste that often leads to disappointment or financial loss.

To avoid this, here are a few helpful tips as you search for your new property:

  1. Make a list. Be clear as to what you’re looking for and why before your search starts. You should have a list of your “essentials” that you take along with you on your property hunt – for example 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2 living areas and a double-car garage. Add to this location or preferred suburbs and consider how your needs will change over the next 5-7 years and factor this in.
  2. Keep referring back to this list to stay focussed on what you are looking to achieve.
  3. Pre-approved finance. You should have this in order before you start looking at properties. Knowing how much you can borrow gives you clear direction as to the properties you should be looking at.
  4. Buying a property can be complex and emotional. Avoid buying on your own and involve key family members or friends that are educated in purchasing property. This helps you see a more rounded view of the properties you’re interested in. 
  5. Visiting a property twice before making an offer is essential! This gives you a more comprehensive view of the property before you make that first offer. 
  6. Be careful not to overbuy. You may be approved to borrow a certain amount of money, but can you comfortably afford to make the mortgage repayments? Analyse your monthly costs – debt, food, cars, etc., and gain independent advice if needed. Make sure you also allow enough to cover extra costs (pest and building inspections, deposit, mortgage insurance, stamp duty and legal costs). Also factor-in moving and renovation costs. 
  7. Make sure you get everything in writing. If the agent says the spa is included, make sure it is in writing. 

Remember to keep to your budget and take your time to find a place that feels like home.
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