Andrew Winter's Word of Caution when Moving House

Trading in the great family homestead no matter how grand or how modest for another, is understandably a big deal. Andrew Winter shares his tips for tracking down the right house.

For many, if not the majority, that move is done locally within say less than 10kms of our existing principal place of residence. That still leaves many who do ‘move away’ and the last thing you want to do is waste your money on rent - so you need to research, secure and move into your purchased home ASAP right?

This is actually a pretty common question I get asked about from those of you moving and buying away - how do you track down the right house, make sure it is in the right location and bought for the right price, when it is all unfamiliar territory to you? What is my best tip? Don't Buy Anything!

That is, don't buy anything until you’ve actually sampled the area you are relocating to, never I mean NEVER buy until you’ve tested a location for six months. Imagine you rush into purchasing a modestly priced $500,000 home and it is either not the right location for you, or simply doesn’t feel like the right house. You just want to move on.

Meanwhile you’ve blown maybe up to $20,000 in stamp duty and then another $10,000 to $15,000 in sales costs. That is also hoping the market stayed steady and you paid a price that in the short term of ownership will provide you with sufficient growth to mean you can actually get your original investment/purchase price back and that isn’t always guaranteed in the short term.

However you look at this if you rush in and buy somewhere that doesn’t fit, the realtor will not be offering ‘cash back’, you will be moving on with many tens of thousands of dollars less in your bank account.

Blowing a few thousand on rental for a three or six month period while you get to know your new locality and the market and all its idiosyncrasies that only living there will reveal seems like not only the sensible solution but almost a must.

So don’t panic and move away, rent and relax and only buy when you feel informed and ready.

Do you have a question for Andrew? Send it to him, here.

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