Curiosity - essential to good home buying outcomes
"The future belongs to the curious - the ones who are not afraid to try it; explore it; poke at it; and turn it inside out."
This anonymous quote may well have been directed at home buyers. Curiosity is the pivot on which successful home purchases hinge. The more questions asked - and answered - the better the outcome will be.
Considering the size of the investment you may be about to make as a home buyer, you can never be armed with too much knowledge. So, be curious... and remain curious. Ask 500 questions if you feel the need.
You will be doing so in the most extreme buyers' market we have seen for decades.
Key questions would revolve around the property itself; the buying process; the neighbourhood; the immediate and longer term future of the property market; and the best, or most appropriate, method of financing the purchase - taking into account the size of the bond, the deposit required, transfer costs and other key elements of the transaction.
Knowledge of City Council zoning plans for the area would also be useful.
Effective search tools
Be sure to use a cross-section of search tools - the most effective of which are the online property portals, and the property pages of newspapers and journals. Furthermore, talk to existing resident homeowners on their perspectives of the suburb in focus.
In the process, accept that home searching and viewing is onerous. Keep trawling for information on the suburb of your choice and the amenities in and around it - i.e. security services, schools, health clubs, shopping centres, sports facilities, churches etc.
In your search for a new home address, there may be a number of localities that you are interested in. Once you have found the suburb of first choice, ensure that you have seen at least 10 to 15 houses before you make an offer. So, visit as many show days as possible.
A period of adjustment
If, as a buyer, you have been looking for a home purchase long enough, ferret out homes that have been on the market a while back and were withdrawn for lack of acceptable offers. They may still be available for purchase.
(This phenomenon is more common these days than at any other time in my long career in residential property marketing).
Be aware that we are in a period of adjustment and consolidation at lower price levels. Therefore, sellers must be well priced - not over-optimistic - and buyers must be more negotiable.
Author: Ronald Ennik