Get the edge with my best tips on buying a house.
I share my best strategies and tactics on where to start and how to buy well.
This approach has been really successful both for me personally and also for my clients.
How to get started
Using this approach will not only give you a ballpark idea of what you need to spend to get the type of home you want, you’ll also start the journey with realistic expectations.
- Broaden your search area – you may have your heart set on one or two suburbs, but the areas just a few km’s away are likely to give you better value if you’re starting out. Over the longer term, these surrounding areas to popular hubs often have the greatest growth in prices.
- Get familiar with what homes have sold for – spend time researching online (real estate.com.au or domain.com.au). You need to know back to front what homes have sold for in the areas you’re keen on (go back 2 years). This will give you confidence and a leg up when you go to make an offer.
- Do drive by’s of homes you like the look of online – seeing it from the street will give you a more realistic idea than pictures online.
- Do a commute test run – see how long it takes in peak hour to get to work. This will become your everyday commute, so doing a trial run will mean there are no nasty surprises. This is particularly important if you are moving to a suburb you haven’t lived in recently.
- Get into the local neighbourhood – spend some time getting to know the area, for example, try the gym, go to the markets or walk your dog through the parks.
- Remember it’s not forever – this is your starting point so if you feel you are settling for a home that’s not as big, grand or flash as what you imagined, then use it as an incentive to fix the place up, sell and move again. These days Australians spend on average 7 years in their homes before moving again.
Best house hunting tips
The number one rule of thumb is the price you pay for your property today can determine the profit you’ll make when selling.
Saturday open inspections
- To save time drive by potential houses during the week to check them out so by Saturday you have narrowed it down to only the open houses with potential.
- Try a night time stake out to see what the neighbourhood is like at different times of the day.
- Attend mid week inspections whenever you can to free up Saturday for the places you’re really keen on.
- Take good notes, for example, the downloadable sheet here.
How to pick a ‘hot’ street
- Look for streets with older houses where one or two have been renovated, then check what they are worth. This gives you both the maximum you might spend on your own renovation and a good idea of how the value of your home could change. It only takes one or two of these crowd pullers before all of a sudden other residents are inspired to renovate too. I’ve seen that happen a lot and it can have a big impact on property prices over time.
- Still important to check flood areas – high side/part of the street is best and check the flood risk with your local council. Try Brisbane City Council here.
Working with Real estate agents
- Be polite with the real estate agent – don’t treat them as your enemy.
- If an agent likes you, they are more likely to look after you – show them respect.
- Agents often say buyers are liars, so avoid being one of those – be upfront about what you want you think, but don’t give your game fully away.
- Utilise their local knowledge.
- Visit the agents and give them a list of exactly what you want so they can alert you when something comes up.
My name is Victor Kalinowski and I’m a Brisbane Mortgage Broker at Blackk Finance. I’ve helped thousands of people get loans for their homes and investment properties. I’m also a successful property investor having bought and sold 12 properties – all for a profit. If you’d like to get in touch for any questions, no matter how small, send me an email now or call 07 3122 3628 Monday to Friday during business hours for a chat.