TIP1. Get finance early
At the moment approvals are taking longer. If you find your dream home, you’ll want to celebrate—not suffer anxiety hoping for your loan to be given the thumbs up. And, most pre-approvals expire within three to six months, so you need to get to it.
TIP 2. Research your target suburb/area
Once you find an area you like, research the latest median prices, market data and local demographics. Know what is planned for the area — public transport upgrades, planned high rise, new schools.
TIP 3. Does it tick your boxes?
Make sure the property meets your needs, but be realistic. Can you fit your family in the bedrooms? How far are you from public transport? Is the freeway too close? Is there a beach down the road? What are the growth prospects? If it’s your first house, it doesn’t have to be the ‘dream home’. Start small, buy what you can afford and go from there.
TIP 4. Take a long-term view
Long term planning is key to home buying. The market has plateaued, this means it may not increase significantly for a few years so – move in, renovate, get a pool or a granny flat, whatever; but maybe sit tight. Sell when prices bounce back in 3 or more years. On the other hand, if you’ll be flipping the property soonish for profit, see below for some investor strategies.
TIP 5. Investing?
When investing, look at the big picture. What’s the economy doing and where are we in the property cycle? Select the right market—usually in a capital city—and preferably one that’s bottomed out or growing strong. Then find the right suburb—generally where locals have higher disposable incomes, or where renovation is happening. Examine the last ten years of growth figures to confirm trends. Pick the spot in your chosen suburb close to everything that makes property valuable—transport, lifestyle etc. Finally, pay what you know is a fair price.