Relocating: It can be a good idea to rent before committing to a new area.
Gab and Monique decided to move to the outskirts of Canberra for all the right reasons. They were putting their children first and had really thought through many of the logistics. The problem is that when you relocate to an area that you are not very familiar with you simply don't know what you don't know. And its not as simple as asking more questions, you need to know what questions to ask.
One great thing about working with property buyers is seeing them progress through the pre-stages of buying very quickly as a result of the focus we place on their search and the amount of active questioning and discussion that ensues.
There was a moment there when I thought Gab and Monique were going to put in an offer on one of the homes we showed them. It fit their brief perfectly and they both loved the house and all it had to offer. But the reality was setting in at the same time that the area they had set their hearts on was really too far from Canberra for them to give their kids the opportunities they had envisaged. And the small matter of where Gab would be working also started to play on their minds.
While they have family close by, they had not yet decided on schools. And neither of them had ever lived in the area (in fact they had only visited once before on a research mission) so finding that elusive sense of community could be difficult to achieve. It is hard to predict how well new residents will fit into an established local scene.
The great thing is that by getting out and looking at property they were able to start asking themselves questions about what they really need and what this move is designed to achieve. It also tested their budget and helped them come to the conclusion that they needed to sell their existing home first. Then they could move to the area and rent for a while before making a commitment to purchase a property.
I believe that their decision is the wise one. It is one thing to buy in an area that you are very familiar with and quite another to take a great leap of faith and buy where you think you will like to live. By renting first they will effectively try before they buy, which is a far less risky strategy than hoping the area you picked from afar will deliver you everything you hoped it would.
If you would like to read more of Veronica's insights on the property market, particularly in her own backyard of inner Sydney, go to
Veronica Morgan’s blog.