Buying your first home is exciting, but it also comes with some big decisions that will likely affect you for many years to come. In order to boost your confidence when buying your first home, here’s some prep work before you start looking.

Whether it’s for yourself or an aged parent, the overwhelming amount of information to do with aged care can be confusing. Where possible it’s important to plan ahead of time as your decisions can have important emotional and financial consequences. Good financial advice can help you to understand the options available to you and answer some of your questions, including:

Whether you’re buying your first home or an investment property there are some important things to take into account when evaluating your options.

1. Scarcity

Scarcity drives value when it comes to real estate. If there are plenty of townhouses or apartments on the market and more to come, then an off-the-plan apartment might not be the best investment.

2. Quality build

If you are buying a new property, what do you know about the developer? Do they have a good reputation?  Do they have a history of quality builds with good resale values? Do your homework and avoid a nasty surprise.

3. Location

Properties within easy access to the city and areas where there is major economic growth or planned infrastructure developments are attractive because the increase in jobs attracts new people to the area. Look at the median price, recent sales and vacancy rates to get a feel for the market. Is the property close to restaurants, shopping and cafés? Is it close to local schools, public transport, hospitals and green areas? These can all help to make a property an attractive purchase.

4. Potential for improvement

The saying ‘buy the worst house in the best street’ has some merit. Pay what a property is actually worth and look for opportunities for improvement. Could you add a deck, bedroom or new bathroom to improve the property?

5. A good price

If a property has been on the market for a few months, don’t go in with your best price first, see if there’s room for negotiation. Just remember a very cheap older house might come with a whole host of expensive problems.

6. Is the property ‘special’?

There’s ‘special’ in a good way where the property has a bit of a ‘wow’ factor; and then there’s ‘special’ in a not so good way where it means that it has a few quirky features that will only appeal to a very select group of people. This would limit its re-sale value in the long run.

7. Is it right for you?

Does the property meet your needs? Is it your forever home or is it an investment? Does it fit in with your overall financial strategy? These are all important questions to ask yourself.

call to action2

Headlines like - Australian housing prices have experience their steepest drop since the global financial crisis – are sparking fear and confusion amongst home owners.  Reports of declines in value of 9% and 7% in Sydney and Melbourne respectively are making daily headlines, but on the flipside, there have also been small increases in housing values in Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane.  So what is behind these changes and what does it mean for the value of your home and your mortgage?