Step one – Location
Where do you want to live? It’s a deeply person choice and not always do our family and friends agree with our aspirations here. In terms of location though always consider:
- Transport options & infrastructure – how easy is to get to and from your new home?
- Amenities – schools, shopping centres, parks – not only will this enhance your lifestyle if you live close to these but it will impact your future value.
- Friends and family – a recent survey showed us that most buyers chose the location of their home because of the top 2 bullet points, but 19 per cent of them wanted to be close to friends and family. If it’s important to you, give thought to how close or how far you want to be to those friends and family.
Step two – The home itself
Mike had some great tips on this. But at the end of the day it comes down to:
- Enough room – bedrooms, bathrooms, living spaces. Will the layout work for you now and will it continue to suit if, and when, your needs change?
- What’s the aspect of the home – which direction does the entrance and main living areas face? Is that going to be best for how you want to live? Sun and light are the two biggest reasons for getting the aspect of the home right, so do give it some thought!
- Yard size – the underlying value of your new home is in the land. While it is possible to upsize the home itself, acquiring more land is not always possible nor easy! Thus, make sure you have enough land for how you want to live – consider pets, children, sheds and toys (boats, caravans etc) as they all need room!
Step three – Inspections
Inspect and then inspect again
- Open houses, private inspections – a great way to see great homes and give you a good idea of what you get for what budget. The bonus is you will get to spend time with some knowledgeable agents and that can always help with your information gathering.
- Don’t just inspect once though. Inspect the property as many times as you need to. Try and inspect the property at different times of the day as it will help give you a feel for what it will be like living there.
- Make some notes. But don’t take notes while you’re inspecting, take them once you leave. You’ll be surprised by how much and how little you remember about some homes, even a few minutes after. The agent will also have some material on the home and this can always help later.