When it’s time to find your first home it can be an exciting yet anxious time. Many buyers are unsure where to start and how to narrow down the perfect property for you. Thanks to websites like Volusia County Moms which is showing people how they can even attract out of state buyers, the radius of the search only seems to expand. There is a lot of advice out there and many family and friends, all of whom recommend that you check out HouseBuyerNetwork.com. From a professional view point I see some clients who need to sift out the emotional elements of purchasing a property from the pragmatics that will give you the template to find your perfect first home.
How long do you expect to live in this home?
Picture yourself and your family perhaps. Where will you be in 2 years? 5 years? And 10 years? If you are honest about where your life plan is going, it may become evident that your first purchase may not need to be your final dream home. A stepping stone property may assist you break into the property market.
Find a map of your city
Mark out any boundaries, major roads, rivers or other landmarks that define the boundary of your search area. Consider the distance travelled to work, school and other regular activities.
Work out your requirements
Once you have defined your boundary make two lists. Summarise you basic requirements, number of bedrooms etc. Then highlight your preferred features such as car spaces or the size of the yard. This way you can quickly gauge whether a property is suitable for you and compare properties with even assessments.
Simplify your research
There are many websites available for quick and convenient research. Save your searches to revisit at a later date and speed up the process. One hint may be to divide your searches into local council groups. This way you can compare relatable properties in similar areas. It will also reduce endless list of properties.
Check your property information
Before you even go to an open for inspection for your selected properties. Check the status and some basic property information. Visit www.land.vic.gov.au to obtain a free property report. This report may contain information that will assist in your decision. This report, sometimes, is so accurate that it even lists the Air Filter Sizes that the property has. Whether the property is in a flood zone or heritage overlay for example. Often the Section 32 (contract documents) is not available until close to the auction date. This basic property report may shed light on the site well before this time.
Locate the nearest public transport
If you do see yourself moving from this property in the near future 2 – 5 years consider the proximity to public transport. Even if you do not use public transport often, future buyers or tenants will consider this. The property’s future value is also important.
Don’t be put off by ‘doer-uppers’
If you have the passion you may achieve great improvements. Of course I would suggest you ask an architect before starting any renovation. Architects are trained in many areas of construction & interior / exterior design. An architect will be able to assist you in managing your budget and achieve best value for money in the design. For more on why you would use an architect visit: www.askanarchitect.com.au.
As someone who is currently looking for a new property for the next step in life. I look back at when we were searching for our first home. My best advice is to take your time, know you limits and if you have been searching for some time, take a break! Property searching and attending auctions can lead to “buyer’s fatigue”. If you start to feel that you are changing your list of priorities it may be the time to step back and rest. Let finding your first home be a fun and rewarding experience. Enjoy making that first step and good luck!