Just a few years ago, the housing market was very slow-moving, which was bad news for sellers but excellent news for buyers, as it meant that bargains could be had – plus, there was a wide range of property available at every price bracket on the market. Now, however, things are different. With Sydney property prices rising – and fast, (by 15% in 2013 alone), it’s now becoming a little more difficult to buy property at a reasonable rate, simply because prices are now high and property is shifting faster than it has for more than five years.
Get All Your Ducks in a Row
First things first, before you go out and look at a single property, get all of your ducks in a row in terms of your mortgage, deposit and legal counsel. Because property moves so quickly, you need to be ready to move, and quickly! Go to an independent mortgage broker and tell them your deposit and your budget (which should include funds for legal fees and any taxes that need to be paid). They’ll shop for a mortgage for you, and once you have a mortgage in place (agreed upon by a lender), you’ll need to hire a solicitor. You can do this online, but generally it’s best if you hire a solicitor in your local area so that they know the ins and outs of the market and can then make sure that you’re getting the best deal. Once you’ve hired a solicitor, you can get started!
Get Ready to Make a Decision
Deciding whether or not a property is right for you can be tricky, especially when you’re thinking, “There could be something better just around the corner”. In a fast-moving market such as Sydney, it’s really important that you make a decision and you make it quickly. When you view a property, make sure that you have a list, either written down or in your mind, of everything that you’re looking for. Once you have a list, edit it down and make sure that you include a few compromise points – after all, everything on your wish list might not be available for your budget and so it’s important to keep in mind that compromise is almost inevitable. Work out what you’re happy to compromise on – and what you’re not, within reason, and then stick to it. When you go to view a property, assess it with a critical eye. Is it practical? On budget? Does it have everything you’re looking for? Is it in the right area? Do you love it? If so, put in an offer. Leave that fear at home and make the offer, otherwise, you might just find that you lose your dream house to someone who was quicker off the mark.
Make a Sensible Offer
Making an offer that is too low could lead to a bidding war – which could push the price of a house well over the asking price if you end up bidding against someone who has a bigger budget than you. Make a sensible offer and ask your solicitor and estate agent for advice. If they suggest making an asking price offer – and you can afford to pay the asking price, do it. Chances are, if you don’t, in a few weeks or a month someone else will come along who is willing to pay the full asking price and you’ll lose the house.
You can buy property in a fast-moving market – you just have to be well-prepared and extremely savvy. The house of your dreams can be yours, so get out there and look for it!