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Buying A Property

How Much Can You Afford?

The first thing to do before you begin your search for a property is determine how much you can afford and the area in which you wish to buy. There’s no point setting your heart on something you can’t afford. Once you establish how much you can borrow and afford to repay you will have a realistic idea of what you can buy. Researching recent sales and the price of properties on the market should give a good indication of property values and an understanding of the real estate market in the area in which you are looking to buy. 

Identify Your Priorities

Select the location

It’s been said many times before but one of the most important considerations when house-hunting is the location. Choosing the right location is vital not just because it may add value to a property but because you (or your tenants) will have to live there too. Look for up and coming areas and consider the edge of popular areas. The so-called ripple effect is the most common reason for prices to rise in an area. If you can’t afford the street or suburb you desire you may wish to consider neighbouring areas, especially if you want a bigger house. It is also important to be aware of any future development plans for your target areas which could impact on the property’s value or your quality of life. When short listing suburbs it is important to consider proximity to transport, schools, shopping centres, recreation and local facilities and any other amenities that are important to you.

Type of property

A house is likely to be the most expensive type of property but for good reason. You are distanced from your neighbours and will generally have a garden. Semi-detached houses, terraces and townhouses usually have an outdoor area and a degree of privacy however they are likely to be noisier than a house due to their proximity to neighbours. Apartments on the other hand are generally smaller and more likely to be noisier than houses however they tend to be more affordable and easier to maintain. Putting together a shortlist of things that are important to you in a home is a good idea. Buying a property requires a considerable amount of research, time, commitment and planning. The following process suggests some simple steps to consider before you start your property search.

Points to consider before purchasing a property

Whether you are buying a property as an investment or to occupy extreme care should be exercised to ensure your purchasing experience is stress free and the risks are minimised. The following should be considered before you make your purchase decision:

  • Think about why you are purchasing the property. If you intend living in the property does it really suit your needs?
  • Do you want a freestanding home, a terrace, townhouse or a unit? Or do you want to purchase a block of land and build a new home?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want to renovate?
  • If a property has been renovated recently you might wish to check with the local council or shire to ensure planning or building permits were approved.
  •  If you have young children or elderly people living with you, you might wish to avoid stairs and prefer a level block. Do you intend to install a pool in the future? Is the garden too big or too small? Will you need more bedrooms in future? Is the location of the property close to schools etc.
  • If you are buying a villa, apartment or townhouse you may be sharing a common wall with your neighbours. It is advisable to check noise levels if possible.
  • Try to meet your new neighbours. They may not share the same values as you.
  • If parking is important to you make sure the property has its own allocated space. Even if you don’t need a car space this feature will add value in the resale of the property.
  • If you are buying an investment property you must consider the needs of potential tenants. It is a good idea to speak to a real estate agent to find out the types of properties that get the highest returns in the area.