Relocation Relocation Australia host Veronica Morgan gives her tips on choosing property from episode 2 with Katie and Matt.
Research and inspections in person are a must
It is very difficult to make a decision within a short timeframe if you have not adequately researched a market. This is particularly true when you are looking to buy in an area far away from where you live but also applies in your home town.
When you rely on Internet listings to formulate your idea on prices and values you are only getting part of the picture. For a start, agents usually only publish the most flattering photos of the property, after all, they are trying to sell it! So you won't be seeing the motor repair shop next door, the mobile phone tower over the back fence or the electrical substation on the other side of the street.
Another problem with relying on the internet pictures of recently sold properties is that your idea of price is always historical and this is compounded by the glossy marketing shots of a house, which tends to make it look like great value at whatever price it sold for. So when you finally do start inspecting properties in person, they very rarely stack up to the image you have built up of what you should be able to get for your money.
So when the properties you are inspecting always seem overpriced, you are unlikely to make offers. Or your offers may be a bit low and end up alienating vendors and selling agents. This doesn't hurt if the market is slow, as time could well be on your side. But it can be problematic if the market is competitive. In this instance the market may leave you behind if you take too long to make a decision.
It is essential that you are up to date with what your money can buy you in today's market. It's great to speculate on the future and it is wise to consider whether the market is about to fall. However if you do not have a grip on what you need to pay today, you won't be buying anything.
The importance of couples being on the same page
It is no good for the busiest person in the relationship to delegate property hunting to their partner and then rubbish the properties they are taken to see.
The busy one usually gets a false idea of how easy the property hunt is and has no appreciation of a good property when they see it as they haven't seen all the lemons along the way. They often have no idea on prices either, and are mercilessly vocal with their opinion that everything is "overpriced". This leaves their weary spouse less than impressed.
Even worse is when they go to view the shortlisted properties that their partner has uncovered and all they do is complain that their needs have not been taken into account.
Buying property as a couple requires more than a little communication and compromise. It's almost impossible to arrive at a happy medium if one partner is doing more than their fair share of the legwork.
Fellas, don’t let the women to do all the work!
This is a common scenario we come across: two people are buying a property together and one does all the legwork while the other takes on the role of devil’s advocate. This is often, though not always, the woman in a heterosexual relationship (though we have also come across other partnerships suffering from this same imbalance). Just like asking for directions when lost – men would rather drive around in circles!!
Does this sound familiar? After some lengthy research and time spent inspecting numerous properties, she has educated herself about the market – enough to identify a property that she thinks they should buy. Then he takes take a look, says he doesn’t like it, dismisses it quickly, showing no appreciation for all the hard work that has got her to that point. Then she has to go through the whole process again as he becomes educated about the market and what they can buy for their money. By that time, prices have gone up and they can no longer afford what they originally wanted!
If you aren’t going to engage a professional to do the work for you, you really need to spend equal time in the property hunt and have a clear idea of what you want and what compromises you are prepared to make.