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Moving Home is our practical guide to buying or selling your home, complete with conveyancing timelines, steps to applying for loans or mortgages, a comprehensive moving checklist, and expert advice and other helpful information to make sure the whole process goes smoothly.

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Strategies to Consider When Buying a Home

Red ‘for sale’ sign hanging out the front of suburban house

When it comes to buying a house, it’s not just a question of how much you can afford to spend, or where you wish to buy. There are a number of things you can do that can result in a better long-term outcome. Remember, in many cases, the real capital gain is made on purchase, not sale. Buying the right house at the right price should be your goal.

What else is involved when buying a home?

Of course, your purchasing decision will be based upon a range of factors. You may or may not be interested in renovation, it may be critically important that you be close to schools or public transport, there may be suburbs you wish to avoid, or ones you have your heart set on, or you may need to be near family – generally speaking, these concerns come second to your overall purchasing strategy, in order to get the most for what you can afford.

Home Buying: Where to start?

The first thing to remember is that you are likely to be competing with others in respect of a particular property.  Ideally, the fewer competitors you have and the longer the property has been on the market, the better the prospect that you will be able to secure it at a lower price. So, consider what factors might be putting others off purchasing, and weigh up whether or not you can see past them, or factor them into your price.

An example is Dux Quest plumbing – a product used in the 60s which, if present, needs to be replaced. Many purchasers will simply not consider purchasing a property with it. Although it can be a significant plumbing job, it is nevertheless done regularly by skilled plumbers, and is something you could simply factor into your price.

See the property for what it is

Many properties are poorly presented and suffer from lack of building and grounds maintenance, questionable interior decor, dated features and vendor clutter.  Look past what the property is, and instead plan for what it could be, and what expenditure would be required to get it to a state where it is worth significantly more.

What value would a new kitchen or bathroom add?  What would it look like with a new or repainted fence?  How much would it be improved by some landscaping?

Further home buying tips to consider

Buying the worst house in the best street is a trite saying but contains a lot of good sense. Look at what surrounding properties are worth and what it would take to get the property you are looking at up to a similar standard.

Next, consider how the property is being sold. Have the vendors erred in their choice of sale process? Have they tried to sell at auction without success, leaving them in a vacuum that may incline them to reduce their price? Has the property been on the market so long that the vendors are likely to be receptive to a lower offer? Is there anything about the vendors themselves that might incline them to reduced offer? For example, is it an estate sale with the proceeds of sale being divided between a number of beneficiaries, such that the impact of a price drop is not so significant? Is there a relationship breakdown putting an imperative on sale? Have the vendors committed to a purchase elsewhere so that they must get a sale?

Home buying requires careful planning and consideration

If you’re still unsure about anything, it’s best to talk to the professionals. If you’re trying to buy a house, you will benefit from the experience and advice of one of our HomeLegal property lawyers. Contact the HomeLegal team for all your property conveyancing needs or ring us on 0508 HOMELEGAL today.