Head, heart and gut – a property buyer’s guide
By Rich Harvey, CEO & Founder propertybuyer
Among the arsenal of analytical weapons at your disposal sits three guiding forces set to help when push comes to shove.
These are your time-critical touchstones. Your go-to friends. Three essential elements that are, in many ways, unique to you and your needs.
Each come into their own during the property purchase process, but all can work in unison to bring about your best result.
So how do we know when to trust the head, follow the heart and rely on the gut?
The head is you’re your ‘hard numbers’ space – and analytical thinking is most useful with pure property investment.
This is the time for your investor brain to stand up at the mental podium and make itself heard.
Headspace property inventors know nothing tells a story like data. They are “measure twice, cutting once” souls.
Start with your own personal numbers. Run the household budget and be brutally honest. After allowing for the essentials, what’s left over to spend?
Also, don’t over-assume the ability to kerb your spending enthusiasm either. If a monthly date night to a top-notch restaurant is a well-entrenched couple’s tradition helping keep the flame alive, don’t assume it will be easily set aside for the sake of a few more dollars in loan servicing.
This headspace assessment is the time to make sure you know what you can afford to spend to avoid stress.
Once you’ve analysed you own numbers, take a look at the potential real estate venture’s figures.
Once again be full, frank and brutal. Have a look at the market rental situation, the local vacancy rates and the realistic return on your purchase.
Is the purchase price truly within your means, or will you be overextending to secure it?
Beyond the hard numbers you can also take a solid look at the prospects for your chosen property type and location.
Is there a chance there’ll be overbuilding of competing stock in this suburb? What’s the realistic likelihood that promised town planning legislation will enhance the potential for capital gains?
Head work is imperative in all property decisions, but never more so than when locking in your financial future.
The emotional rollercoaster that is home buying comes to the fore when considering how a property makes you feel.
Most smart buyers realise that you should never buy on emotion alone, but it is imperative in turning a house into a home.
Most people have a “place” where they feel at their best. The idea of an emotional sanctuary where they can retreat, recharge and reconnect.
There’s been a myriad of times in my career where all the hard yakka of finding the perfect home for a client comes down to the moment they crack open the front door for the first time, wander through and pronounce, “Perfect!”.
The heart still has its part to play in successful property ownership.
Instinct is that innate, almost primal, feeling that seems lets us know when to move forward, when to hold back, when to run headlong into a venture and when to sprint away very fast and very far.
Gut instinct can be seen as a distilling of all things considered during a search for either a home or investment – and those with the best gut are often those with the most experience.
Gut instinct might be driven by how the selling agent treated you. Do they seem over-eager to please? Are they poor at communicating? Do they find ways to avoid answering your queries?
In the investor space, one of the great questions to ask any property advisor is “How do you get paid?” If the answer remains unclear, your gut will be screaming at you because instinct helps buyers see past the “She’ll be right,” response and dig deeper.
Conversely – gut instinct can assist buyers in breaking free of analysis paralysis – particularly first-time investors.
Savvy buyers reach a point where they tell themselves, “I have all the answers I need and my instincts are to say, ‘Yes!’”
Head, heart and gut are the foundation of almost all life’s decisions, but honing the triumvirate into an effective property purchasing tool takes time and experience.
Working together, ‘head, heart and gut’ can ensure a smooth path to property buying. If you don’t have the time, confidence of inclination to work on these skills in the real estate realm, then perhaps use them to select a buyer’s agent who can tackle the task on your behalf.