Whether you are a first-time buyer or an old hand, Stephen Hart of Hometopia.co.nz has some tips that will stand you in good stead during your house hunt.
- Don’t even think you are in the market until you have a pre-approved home loan in place
- This is a highly competitive market. When you see the right opportunity you need to be able to act fast.
2 Become a local expert
- Don’t search too wide, pick three or four neighbouring suburbs and make it your mission to become expert in the local property market
- Go to LOTS of open homes. Get to know the local agents and follow up on what various homes sold for
- You will soon be able to walk into an open home and make a surprisingly accurate assessment of its likely value.
3 How easy will it be to sell?
- Even as you are walking into an open home you should be thinking about selling it, because one day you will be
- Is there anything special about it? A view, a cul-de-sac, close to a kindergarten, great local schools, access to beaches, etc?
- If a home is just like all the others it becomes a commodity and the only way you will sell it quickly is by selling it cheaper than the others.
4. Think like an investor
- Your priority may be on lifestyle issues and on finding the perfect place for your family, but your home is a critical investment
- You should be doing everything possible to buy it at the best possible price and achieve the best possible capital appreciation
- Negotiate hard and be ambitious about future capital gains.
6 Be philosophical
- Try not to fall hopelessly in love with a home before it becomes yours, it just makes the disappointments harder to take
- You may bid at multiple auctions, only to lose out to higher bidders paying well above the market price – don’t beat yourself up
- Remember, there is always another home around the corner.
Stephen Hart runs Hometopia.co.nz – the free online resource centre for home buyers and sellers, and Auckland HomeFinders.