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How to buy a house at the right price

As we come into the colder months, house prices are dropping, the market is cooling and there are bargains to be had! It’s often wise to take advantage of buying at this time of year and we’ve put together some other hints below to make sure you get the best bang for your buck if you’re house hunting.

Scope the Neighbourhood

Make sure you know what houses in the neighbourhood you’re looking at are selling for. A good way to do this is to compare what the houses have sold for over the last 3 months. This way you can gauge what kind of prices you should be looking at and you’ll have a better idea if you’re paying too much or getting a steal.

Time is of the essence

There’s a fine line between missing out on a deal because you’re dilly-dallying and looking too eager by showing your hand to the vendor. It’s important to strike the right balance between the two.

Firstly, make sure you take the time to explore all the houses in your price range. We also suggest looking at those under budget and a little over budget so you can get a better understanding of what you can buy at different price points.

When you find a house that you love and are ready to put in an offer, take the time to complete due diligence. That means ordering a LIM report, getting a building inspection done and ensuring you can get finance.

It’s a good idea to make any offer you make conditional on these clauses. Be aware that if you’re buying at auction, your offer can’t be conditional, so you’ll need to have completed due diligence prior to the date of the auction. These are costs you must be willing to wear in the knowledge that you may not be the successful buyer at auction.

When you do make an offer, don’t reveal too much to the real estate agent or vendor about how much you’re willing to pay. Take your time considering any counter offer and try not to let excitement or nerves overwhelm your common sense. Throwing more money at the vendors is often a knee jerk reaction that isn’t necessary.

Is it worth it?

While the thrill of hunting for a home and then finding the right one is very exciting, it’s important to do the maths before you sign on the dotted line.

First, make sure that you’re not over-capitalising. Are you paying the right amount for this house in this area?

Will any improvements you make to the home mean that you will lose mony when you sell in the future? If you’re planning on sticking around for the long-term, this may not matter but if you’re planning to move again in the next 5-10 years, think carefully about how much you can safely invest in the property without losing out long-term.

Make sure you also consider lawyers fees, moving fees and bank fees that will be required to get the sale over the line. These should be factored in to the overall cost of purchasing the property.

If you’re on the hunt for a new property and want to make sure you’re getting all your ducks in a row, make sure you have a chat to one of our home loan experts and financial advisers first.

We can help you through the purchase process and advise you on the financial implications of your decisions.