A home buyer’s checklist


    Thinking of buying a home? Here’s what you need to consider when property shopping

    Pride of ownership is the number one reason why people want to own their home. It means you can paint the walls any colour you want, attach permanent fixtures, renovate it and put your stamp on it. Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security.

    Starting a search for a new home typically begins on the internet. With just a few clicks, home buyers can search through scores of online listings, view virtual tours, and look at hundreds of photographs.

    You’ve probably defined your goals and have a pretty good idea of the type of home and neighborhood you want. By the time you reach your real estate agent’s office or an open home, you’re already halfway to home ownership.

    Property tyre-kicking

    Every prospective buyer has differing views on what they want – thanks heavens or we’d all be clamouring for the same place! That said here are a few tips on what to do and things to keep an eye out for.

    • Take notes of unusual features, colours and design elements.
    • Pay attention to the home’s surroundings. What’s next door and nearby? Do you like the location? Is it near parks and schools? Is public transport and shopping within easy reach? Are the neighbours noisy? Is there a barking dog that might be irksome?
    • Where does the light fall – will the garden get sun? You can always change the home but you can’t change the position or size of the block.
    • Immediately after leaving, rate each home on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. Take a photo on your phone to help you remember, and keep a notebook to jot down things like: ‘needs new kitchen lino’, or ‘lovely quiet street’.
    • View top choices a second time. After touring homes for a few days, you’ll probably instinctively know which one or two homes you’re interested in.
    • Ask to see them again. You’ll see them with different eyes and notice things that were overlooked the first time around. If you’re at a private viewing, stand in a room alone to see how quiet the place feels.
    • Be mindful that these days properties can move fast, so don’t be afraid to make an offer.
    • Don’t miss the opportunity of securing your dream home by worrying so much about what the owner will take, what the agent thinks it’s worth or what other buyers will pay. Pay what you feel is right, after all you’re more than likely to be in the home for many years and in 20 years that extra $2,000 won’t seem like a lot.

    Doing your due diligence when property shopping is the equivalent of tyre-kicking when you’re thinking of buying a car. You want to be as up-to-speed on all aspects of the property as you can, so you can use the information to help in your negotiations.

    Finding a knowledgeable agent

    Your experience in house-hunting will be made much more enjoyable if you talk to an agent who really knows the market and knows what you’re looking for. If you already own a property and you’d like to know what it may be worth in today’s market, call us for a realistic market appraisal for both rental or/and sale.

    ________________________________________________________________________Dion Verzeletti, Director and selling principal at Ray White Cherrybrook, Thornleigh & West Pennant Hills. www.raywhitectwph.com.au

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