Persistent curiosity is key to buying
“Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity…turned out to be priceless later on.” – (the late) Steve Jobs, when Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc.
My advice to home buyers – not least in the current challenging market circumstances – is: Be persistently curious.
In doing so, you will be able fully to understand the prevailing market in which you are considering buying property. At the same time, you will acquire a vital broader grasp of the local residential property landscape. Look at properties that don’t quite fit the profile you’ve imagined you would like to acquire. A crazy statistic is that more than 50% of buyers end up buying a property very different from their original brief. There lies the danger of selecting and rejecting properties off a laptop, or worse a smart phone. ‘Convenience’ should be less of a consideration when investing in your most expensive asset.
Ideally, before committing to the purchase of a home, buyers should be sufficiently curious to ensure that they have seen a minimum of 10 to 15 properties in the area of their focus.
In doing so, they must try to avoid being guided purely by asking prices. Instead, they should concentrate on becoming familiar with the prices at which properties have been selling in the overall area they have targeted.
This information is easily available online – and can be a vital guideline on pricing.
A two-pronged process
When looking around, buyers must note that the process is two-pronged: They are not only investing in a property that they are interested in (and that they have identified). They are also buying into the lifestyle offered both by the broader neighbourhood, as well as its peripheral environment.
Buyers therefore need to be curious enough to research those aspects as well.
In doing so, they will become familiar with all the services and attractions provided in the area – including schools, parks, security, sport, health, recreation, and shopping facilities and precincts.
True, buyer curiosity may spark 100 questions in the lead-up to the point of purchase. It will be well worthwhile, however – not least because they will emerge with a hierarchical list of the most favoured buy options available. They should have a short list of their top three most suitable properties and compare every subsequent property to that list.
It is a process that will ensure that their thinking remains clear and organised as the sequence of choice changes when their curiosity leads them to look at even more available options.
Author: Ronald Ennik