Buying A Property

SO THE TIME IS RIGHT.

 u're ready to jump into the property market, upgrade or buy your first investment property. Its exciting but also daunting with this being one of the largest financial decisions of your life. Here's some guidelines to make the journey a little less stressful.

 CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHAT YOU CAN REALLY AFFORD

Before you start the looking process determine your budget based on what you can afford to repay now, not the maximum you're allowed to borrow, and have your finance in place. Its devastating when you find the 'perfect' property but its way out of your price range.

 THE ADVICE YOUR UNCLE GAVE YOU IS NOT A LAW TO ABIDE BY

As soon as you announce that you're looking to buy property, you can expect friends and family to come out of the woodwork with all their well-intentioned advice. Remember the principles that may have been true in the past don't necessarily continue to be so in a changeable property market so do your research and speak to the professionals – they are on the coalface and know what's happening. Attend multiple auctions so you can see what properties are selling for and gain an understanding of the auction process. Check what's nearby, lifestyle is a big factor when buying property.

 TAKE THE TIME TO SNIFF OUT ANY ISSUES WITH THE PROPERTY

Smell for mould, and animal-related odours. Knock on walls to see if they sound hollow. Open the dryer and the dishwasher – you never know if pests are living in there. Does the toilet flush properly? Does the heating/air-conditioning work? Is the flue functioning above the fireplace? Is the water pressure okay?

 USE YOUR HEAD, NOT YOUR HEART

We know – it's exciting and it's easy to get carried away with the emotion. Don't be afraid to walk away from a bad deal. There will be other properties, maybe even better ones. Remember that this is a financial transaction and that your terms must be met.

 VISIT THE PROPERTY MULTIPLE TIMES AND AT ALL TIMES OF THE DAY

Its important to know what the property is like at any time of the day. Does it attract enough natural light? Is it noisy at certain times of the day? Are the neighbours going to be a problem? Multiple visits can allow you to picture yourself living there both morning and night.

 WORK WITH EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS

Hire the most thorough, licensed home inspector you can find to pinpoint any issues that could potentially end up becoming costly repairs. To avoid conflict, make sure your lawyer is not also representing the seller.

 NEGOTIATE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

As a buyer, you should feel in control and as though you have nothing to lose through robust negotiation. If you feel your not up to the job, you can use your agent on your behalf or a buyers agent who are both skilled in this field. There is no harm in offering the price you think the property is worth – it just might seal the deal.

 GARDENS AND YARDS ARE WORK

Almost everyone likes the idea of having a garden, but if you're not used to maintaining one, you might want to think twice about whether you want to spend your weekends weeding and mowing the lawn.

 BUY A PROPERTY YOU CAN AFFORD NOW, NOT LATER

Even if you're pretty certain that you'll be earning more in a year or two, you might also find that circumstances increase the other expenses in your life. Children, schools, new cars and travel plans are substantial costs. Make sure there will be room in your budget for you to live the life you want.

 THE SEARCH CAN TAKE LONGER THAN YOU THINK

Don't operate on someone else's timeline and don't make commitments that will make things challenging if your property hunt takes a few months longer than you anticipated. If you're renting, stay on a month-to-month agreement so that you are able to move without penalty.