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10 House Buying Tips

I recently read a Macquarie article with tips for getting ready to buy a house and I decided to share my version with you. I particularly want to point out point 6 'Think business transaction not heart decision'. It's so easy to be enjoying the feeling of buying your own space of heaven but don't let the fun get in the way of the right decision!

1 Owning isn't always the end goal

There is a fair amount of discussion around whether owning a home is the end goal, and that renting is ‘dead money’. There are benefits to renting, particularly if you aren't sure where you'd like to live ongoing or if you intend to take a significant amount of time travelling.

2 Any gems of wisdom that your property owning uncle gave you might not be right for now

You may receive advice from many well-meaning people but ensure that you find people that you can trust who know the market and understand your position. The property market is as volatile as the stock market and what works in one geographical area may not work in another or can change within a few months.

3 Take your time in looking over any property

This is likely to be the biggest investment in your life. Get advice from any professionals you might need. Better to spend a few hundred dollars now to avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars later. Smell for pet odours or mould that might be masked by other smells like fragrance or new paint. Open appliances - you might get an idea of how people have treated their house by how they have cleaned up for the inspection. Check taps and the flush the toilet to highlight any potential plumbing issues. Does any heating or cooling work?

4 Choose help wisely

You can find local building inspectors, plumbers, landscape gardeners or interior design consultants using the internet or by asking around. Avoid any potential conflicts by checking that your conveyancer or legal representative is not working for the vendor as well.

5 Think 'business transaction' not heart decision'

Be prepared to walk away if the deal is doesn’t add up. Enlist the help of a friend who can unemotionally point out any flaws that you may not see initially. This won’t be the only property worth your time; the next option may be even better! You are entering into a financial agreement and so you need to be absolutely sure that you are getting what you expect to be paying for. Ask as many questions as you need.

6 There's usually room for negotiation

If you aren't confident doing it yourself, get some help but don't walk away from the discussion; you will have the most to gain or lose from the negotiation. Be pleasant but stick to your plan.

7 Don't let anyone pressure you.

There are worse things than letting a house go because you aren't quite ready or you have a feeling that something isn't right. Real Estate Agents are experienced salespeople and this can be helpful when you are selling but as the buyer you are in control of how much or little time you need to make decisions.

8 The outside of the house can add a significant commitment to buying a


The idea of a garden is lovely but the work involved can involve the better part of your weekends.

9 Look for properties that you can afford now, not what you may earn later

You may be assured of a pay rise within the next couple of years but you need to think about the likelihood of interest rates going up. You may need to add school fees or need a new car which can utilise any increases in your pay. Keep room in your budget for enjoying life so that the home loan doesn't feel like a burden.

10 Organise your budget before you start looking

Engage an experienced mortgage broker (ie come and see me - it's free!) who can help you work out what you can afford and the maximum you can borrow.

If you go somewhere else, ask for a detailed list of the repayments for each amount you are considering. This will help you decide on your end figure.

Bonus Tip - Finding your perfect home can take time.

If you're renting and your lease is due, ask for a month to month agreement so you aren't under pressure and can move without any lease penalties.

Check out the original article out here.