10 tips to buying a home – by Adriano Persichetti
When you’re buying a home there’s a lot to think about, but it doesn’t need to be
stressful, it should be an exciting time for you. Here are a few tips that can help you if
you’re considering a move and getting into the real estate market be it a first home
buyer, someone who is making another purchase or an investor
1. Do your research (good and bad)
Do your own research to find out if your target suburb is hot or not.
There are several tools available to help you discover a suburbs potential.
Use things like bank calculators, real estate apps and websites such as
realestate.com.au, domain, property data or RP data.
On these pages you’ll find:
median property prices
data showing the impact of interest rates
and the average number of people looking for property in that suburb versus the
number of properties for sale.
All this gives you a great insight into the suburbs you’re considering for your next
move or investment so you can leap with confidence into the adventure
A particularly useful insight is supply to demand ratios and trends over time. These
give you the bigger picture of a location and can help you consider the
What matters is whether it’s your right time to buy, for your needs and
circumstances. Knowing the state of play is useful to help you with the overall
When buying a home, think about what the property needs to deliver now in the
immediate landscape, or enough of what you need that you’re happy to compromise
for longer term capital growth.
Have some clear guidelines of what is important to you. Things like:
schools and childcare
access to major roads and freeways
public transport options
parks and recreation
Shortlist suburbs that deliver on the needs for you and your situation.
Do some personal investing to make sure the suburb’s right for you. Walk around the
streets and area you’re thinking of buying in. Grab a coffee, or a meal at the local
café or restaurant. Pretend you’re already living there and see if distances are what
they seem, and atmosphere is what your wanting in a location.
Of course, it will be different once you’re moved in, but experiencing it first-hand
gives you an “on-the-job” taste for the reality and the lifestyle of your future location.
Look closely at what developments or infrastructure is planned around the area in
case your quiet corner is about to become a developer’s haven.
3. Search for opportunities
Cooler periods in the housing market can be windows of opportunity, so it’s worth
keeping an eye on interest rates and market trends in those preferred suburbs.
Some locations are hitting the bottom of a pricing cycle, so there are bargains to be
Using the search filters on real estate websites to look for oldest listed first is a great
way to find properties that are still on the market that haven’t sold. There may be an
opportunity to negotiate with someone who hasn’t sold but might want to sell.
If you’re not ready yet, take the time to look at house inspections to get a feel for the
houses, the market and the agents. Spring is a great time of year as there are
always more homes on the market so this could be a good time to prepare to buy in
the quieter months of the year, when there may be less competition for the house of
4. Talk to Agents
Don’t be scared, be honest and open and talk to real estate agents to find out what’s
happening in the market. They want to help you in your search.
You may not get your dream home right away. It’s ok. Consider apartments instead
of houses in the location you are wanting to purchase, they are often more affordable
and put you in your desired location. Or you may choose a property that needs a
little TLC, but by adding value after your purchase would tick the boxes for you.
Work closely with your agent to develop an action plan and strategy that meets your
goals and needs.
5. Consider surrounding suburbs
This seems a no brainer, however, if your target suburb is out of budget, consider
more affordable neighbouring suburbs.
Before you buy, talking to locals to get residents views on the suburb and its best
streets is a good source of real-time information. Reading local publications and
connecting with local websites, bloggers or personalities can also give you helpful
insight. Social media area pages are also a great source of what’s happening in the
area and information around your preferred suburb.
6. Be ahead of the pack
When looking for real estate bargains, register to online websites or real estate
agent’s databases so you are among the first to hear about properties for sale.
Other ways to keep a step ahead include searching via the public trustee, deceased
estates and mortgagee sales.
7. What’s on offer where you live?
If you’re looking to buy a property in an area where you’re already living, take a close
look at other properties that go up for sale nearby. Look at how they’re marketed,
how well inspections are attended and how long they spend on the market.
This will give you an indication of how the market is doing in your neighbourhood and
can guide you on the price you should be paying for a property close by.
8. Be smart – List to inspect
Smart sellers naturally stage their homes to make sure they look their best when you
view them. You’d do the same.
Remember to look between past the decorations or the furniture for issues that might
not be immediately obvious. Take along a list of practical things to check – things like
holes or cracking in walls/ceilings, lighting, unevenness of the house/structure,
adequate power points, what direction the house faces, what rooms can be
remodelled etc. That way, if you fall instantly in love, you won’t suddenly forget to
sanity check for possible pain points.
Take notes and get your building or pest inspector to follow up on anything unusual
9. Get your finances sorted
Make sure you have met with a bank or mortgage broker and have your finances
sorted. I would recommend getting a pre-approval from a lender before, or just as
you start inspecting homes. This gives you the opportunity to make a decision if you
find the right home for you.
Having a pre-approval is important when deciding on your future home. This can
have major implications on areas, suburbs and type of home you can buy so having
this sorted will give you a clearer picture of what you can and cannot buy and
therefore saving you loads of time inspecting homes that are not in your budget
10 – Attend auctions
Attending auctions and participating in them gives you the know-how and the
opportunity to be able to purchase your future home. Don’t be scared, embrace the
Buying a home should be exciting and this includes bidding at an auction or making
an offer. You must be in it to win it! If you’re not comfortable, have a family member
of friend do the bidding for you. It’s quite enjoyable for anyone bidding at an auction
and can be worth looking into as they should have no emotion.