Finding a property
The search for that perfect piece of real-estate can be exciting – but also insanely stressful. Even before you start house hunting, there are multiple things to consider. What sort of home am I looking for? Will I live in it or treat it as an investment? How many bedrooms do I want? How many bedrooms do I need? Which area do I want to live in? Where can I afford to buy? Is it even worth buying or should I rent forever? Of course it’s worth buying!
The list goes on, but here are just a few of the major things to think about before taking the plunge into real-estate.
Questions to ask:
- Is it a home to live in or an investment property?
- What can I afford?
- Which area should I buy in?
- Do I need help from an expert?
A home to live in or an investment property?
There are some key differences between buying a home to live in and buying it as an investment. For one, you’ll need a slightly larger deposit if you’re buying an investment property (usually at least 10% of the value of the property), whereas you’ll only need a 5% deposit (although a larger deposit is better) if you’re buying the place to live in. If you’re buying as an investment, there’s also a whole bunch of stuff you’ll need to know about capital gains tax and negative gearing. Read more here.
What can I afford?
Before you start searching, it’s important to work out how much you can afford to pay. Read our comprehensive guide, How Much Can I Borrow?
You also need to consider what sort of home you’re looking for: a house, townhouse or apartment, for example. Houses tend to cost more than townhouses and apartments (when comparing property in the same suburb, for instance), however most townhouses and all apartments will be strata title, meaning you’ll need to factor ongoing strata costs into your budget.
Which area should I buy in?
When it comes to choosing the best area to buy in, there’s much to consider. Do you want to be close to work, for example, close to the city, your family – far away from your partner’s family? Proximity to amenities such as public transport, schools, shops and hospitals is also worth considering, as is access to parks, the beach or pools, cafes, restaurants and bars if you’re into that sort of thing; churches if you’re not. These things are important to consider not only to ensure you enjoy living in the area you choose to buy in, but also as a long-term strategy. If you plan to sell your property in the future, or rent it out to others, the things that appeal to you are likely to appeal to others too.
Defer to the experts
As a start, check out industry websites such as realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and real estate agents’ websites. For help with buying property, you can also use a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent can look for off market properties that fit within your budget and fulfil your needs. Read more here.