Spring House Hunting - Your property buying guide

5 September, 2019
The days are starting to warm up - and it’s beautiful weather for Saturday morning open home inspections.

Spring is a popular time for houses to come on the market - and a popular time to buy!

People often make the decision to buy or sell as the end of the year approaches, with the aim of being in their new place before Christmas. 

But buying a house can be daunting - where do you start?

We’ve put together this property buying guide, to help you through the process of shopping around. 

Research the market

An extremely important first step.

Assuming you’ve got some ideas about the location you want to buy in - you need to get an idea about the local market.

This process will take time. Pay attention to what properties are being listed for - and follow up to find out the sale price. 

After enough research you will begin to get an idea of the median property price, and how much houses are going for depending on their criteria. You’ll be able to pick underquoting - or overly ambitious pricing.

This research will allow you to have a stronger, more confident negotiating position when you make your offer. 

Set your limit and criteria - and get pre approval!

Once you have an idea about how much properties are generally going for in the location you want to buy in, you can figure out what you can and can’t afford.

This will mean sitting down and deciding on the must-haves in your home, and compromising on what you can live without - or add in later. What are your deal breakers? What is most important for you?

Once you have your criteria in mind, set a limit for what you can afford. This should be based on more than just the deposit. It needs to factor in mortgage repayments, and how much you can manage each month. 

Then - begin the pre approval process. It’s always best to go shopping with pre approval. You will be able to make offers, and agents will take you more seriously, knowing you are ready to go.

If you’re wondering how the pre approval process works, read our ‘Ready to buy your first home?’ series.

Attend inspection after inspection… after inspection

Actually attending open homes means you can really get a feel for the market. How many buyers are attending each one? Which streets seem to draw more people?

Here are some questions to ask the agent:
  • Have any offers been made? 
  • Why are the owners selling?
  • How long has the property been on the market?

Go to some auctions, see how they work. 

Get everything in writing - from the price guide, through to competing offers on the property. If the agent says there is another offer on the table - get email confirmation, to keep them honest. Most people are reluctant to stretch the truth if it leaves a paper trail. 

Play it cool 

There is no need to gush about how much you adore the property. The agent doesn’t need to know you’re in love!

Keeping your cards close to your chest means you are less inclined to give out clues about your interest in the property and your budget. They could use it to play on your emotions and push you higher in price than you need to. 

Things to say instead - ‘I am interested in this property, among others. Please keep me in the loop if other offers are made. I will be in touch.’

But - don’t express complete disinterest either, or you may miss out. 

Need loan advice?

Central West Credit Union is a customer owned institution.

This means (among many other things) - we are here for you.

Whether you are ready to buy your first home, next home, or refinance - we are ready to help. 

You shouldn’t have to put up with the administrative stress that often come with applying through a big bank, with several people working on your loan and someone in an office in the middle of Sydney  making the decision. 

At CWCU, you will work with one person, from start to finish. That person speaks directly to the decision maker and can explain your situation so that the most informed decision on your loan can be made.  

We are here to make the process simple. You don’t need to live in a branch location to bank with us!

Our mobile services are fantastic, meaning you can chat to us over the phone, or make an appointment with our Mobile Relationship Officer - who will come to your doorstep. Just say the word and he will travel anywhere in the Central West, to meet with you and discuss your options.


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