6 Tips for Buying Your Next Home
The property market is always a hot topic of discussion. And while there’s plenty of advice out there for first time buyers, taking a step up or down the property ladder can be a different journey.
In the first quarter of 2017, we’ve seen an increase in new property listings, indicating that sellers are coming to meet the market. The property market proved to be quite unpredictable in 2016, meaning that as a potential vendor, it was hard to predict how long it’d take you to find another home and how much it’d cost you.
But a steadier market in the early part of this year appears to have resulted in a renewed sense of security, encouraging more property owners to stick a “for sale” sign in their front garden. If you’re looking to sell, here are six nuggets of advice:
1. Decide what you’re looking for
Before selling, figure out what your next steps are going to be. Are you upsizing or downsizing? Are you aiming to become mortgage-free? Or do you have pre-approval on a new loan? Then you can start investigating the number of homes in your search area that fit the bill and how much they may cost you.
Why are you considering a move? Are you looking for a larger, long-term family home? Are you willing to sacrifice a longer commute time for a better lifestyle? Or are you looking for a property to invest in, with a good capital gain forecast? A long-term plan vs a short-term investment will each paint a different picture.
3. Prepare for the future
It’s important to think ahead when buying a home – around seven years is a good benchmark. Your kids will become teens, your teens will leave home (or not) or your parents may need to move in as they grow older. Ask yourself “will this home still work for me in seven years’ time?”.
Factor in your current commute times and travel costs, but also think down the line. For example, right now you may be a young couple both working full time, but are you preparing to start a family? If one person will stay home with the child, it makes sense to purchase a home closer to the other person’s office.
5. Do your due diligence
Just like a first-time buyer, it’s important to do your due diligence. That means the usual LIMs and building reports, but should also include things like a meth test. Make good use of your real estate agent – they are a wealth of knowledge not only about the home, but the local area.
6. Keep an eye on the market
Your property journey doesn’t end once you’ve signed on the dotted line and moved into your new place. For most New Zealanders, a home is the biggest investment made in a lifetime and, in many cases, it’s relied upon to help fund retirement. So, like any big investment, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on trends or changes in the market. The realestate.co.nz New Zealand Property Report or REINZ sales data are two handy sources of information.
Brendon Skipper is CEO of realestate.co.nz
Read more of Brendon’s columns here.