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Propertybuyer Blog: Property Advice, Market Updates & More

August 2014 - Ten Tips for Buying a Home in Sydney

By Rich Harvey, Managing Director propertybuyer

Welcome to your August propertybuyer market update.

In this edition we look at:

  1. Ten tips for buying a home in Sydney
  2. Client Stories
  3. Melbourne Homebuyer & Investor Show

1. Ten Tips for Buying a Home in Sydney

Buying a home in Sydney with a limited budget can be a daunting challenge. With a population of over 4.76 million living in 665 suburbs radiating out from a spectacular harbour there are many options. Most of us will end up buying between 3 to 5 homes in our lifetime as we move through different life stages so it’s a good idea to step back and plan your approach. Here are some tips that will help make the process a little easier.

  1. Future proofing – Decide how long you plan to stay in your next home. Is it a 3, 5, 10 or 20 year plan? Will this home suit your future needs? The cost of selling and stamp duty to change locations can be expensive, not to mention the hassle of moving every time. Look forward and anticipate what your needs will be in the future. Think about proximity to transport, schools, shops, friends and other social/ recreational activities.
  2. Write a Wishlist - Clearly define your priorities from the start. Write a list of what features are ‘essential’ and what ones are ‘preferable.’ While it’s nice to have a pool and a view, is this realistic for your budget? Could you cope with a two bed apartment plus study nook rather than a 3 bed apartment? What property type will best suit me and my family? Unit, semi, townhouse, duplex, house, granny flat, mansion?
  3. Commuting - How long is the commute to work? In Sydney’s congested traffic this is a critical decision factor. You might think 90 minutes each way is ok now but this will impede on your family lifestyle after a few years. While Palm Beach is a lovely location, the daily commute could send you mad. Anticipate and imagine your daily routine.
  4. Renovation /Value adding potential – If you plan to renovate or extend make sure the street and the suburb can absorb the price increase you would expect on the sale. It can be very easy to over-capitalise on a renovation! Understand what you can do with your house and block of land in the future. Things such as extensions, renovations, introduction of a swimming pool, tree-removal, etc. Buying an original 3 bed brick house on a good size block in a middle ring suburb can be a stepping stone to a larger home down the track. Or a one bed unit can be a step toward a two bed in the future.
  5. Functional floorplans - Analyse the current floor-plan. Can I change the floor plan easily to make the space more user friendly? As you do your inspections think about how the floor plan might work for your family. Is there enough living space, storage space, perhaps a rumpus area for noisy teenagers or a study nook for working at home? Check if there is enough natural light and if the house has the right feel for you – it will be your home and you will want to enjoy the space and make it your haven.
  6. Know the locals. Get to know the local area by walking around to see what the neighbourhood is like and what recreational facilities it provides. Visit the neighbourhood at different times of day and hang out in the local cafes and shops for a while. Just stop and observe to pick up the “vibe” of the area. Chat to the local shop keepers as they will happily give you insights. Examine whether the neighbours are house-proud or if other houses in the street are in dire need of improvements.
  7. Is Development coming? Check if there are any new developments or rezoning planned near your new home. You do not want a block of apartments being built next door or a child care centre that will increase traffic volume. Investigate the local councils future plans for the suburb. Find out if any major projects are in planning that may be either positive or detrimental to the value of your home.
  8. Know the value – the profit is in buying at the right price. Learn what surrounding homes are worth in your particular area. Especially if the suburb is new to you – there may be large discrepancies between the value of similar houses in neighbouring suburbs. Find out how many houses sell in the suburb – it is tightly held with few transactions or is there an abundance of sales. Don’t rely on median house prices to indicate value – these can be misleading if the market is really moving . Look for directly comparable sales of properties sold in the last 3 months and identify which streets and locations within a suburb are the most highly sort after. There always seems to be a “golden triangle” in each suburb that the locals value highly.
  9. Transactional tips. Have your finance and deposit ready. Line up your solicitor or conveyancer to review the contract once you have negotiated the price. Be in a position to move quickly if you need to. Show interest but not emotion. Don’t play it too hard but on the flip-side good selling agents will pick up on your emotion early – balance is important.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask an expert – it will save you money and heartache in the long term. Do your own research or seek the assistance of a buyer’s agent. Do not trust the selling agent who only gives you the comparable sales that help the vendor’s cause. Do not trust the selling agent who appears to be working for you. A buyers’ agent will work on your side each step of the way, locating suitable properties, appraising value and guiding your decision making.

Call my friendly team of buyers agents on 1300 655 615 or + 61 2 9975 3311 today to discuss your requirements, or email your inquiry. We would be delighted to help.

Rich Harvey is founder and Managing Director of www.propertybuyer.com.au, Australia's most awarded Buyers' Advocates. Propertybuyer helps property investors and home buyers search and negotiate the right property at the right price, everytime. Visit www.propertybuyer.com.au or call 1300 655 615.

2. Client Stories

Here is some feedback from our a few of our happy clients last month!

Jasmine's Story

"....a smooth process"

Buyer type: Investor up to $400,000
Location:  Newcastle
Buyer’s Brief: To purchase an investment property that is easy to maintain and rent

Our Goal
I wanted to buy an investment property that would return a good yield and I had the dual issue of being time poor and lacking expert knowledge. I was worried that I would buy something that was not good value in the long term.

Our Solution
Kevin Mason was a fantastic communicator, keeping me up to date throughout the buying process. I felt relieved once I purchased, as we were able to secure a great property although my bank almost withdrew the finance (of 80%) when they realised it was under their normal approval size, so that added another layer of complexity. If you are thinking of engaging propertybuyer, it turns something that is overwhelming and time consuming (not to mention stressful) into a smooth process.

“....fantastic communicator, keeping me up-to-date throughout the whole buying process”

Buyer’s Advocate, Kevin Mason
Jasmine was a pleasure to work with, she had a tight budget of between $300 to $400k Jasmine was looking for a modern or new property within a blue chip suburb that had potential for both a healthy growth and yield. With this budget, Sydney was not going to cut it and we educated Jasmine on the merits and benefits of other locations and provided thorough research and information enabling Jasmine to confidently make an educated decision and move quickly when she needed to. We placed Jasmine into a fully renovated property with a huge courtyard in one of Newcastle’s premium beachside suburbs.

Jackie & Brent's Story

"....saved us heaps of time"

Buyer type: Investor up to $340,000
Location:  Newcastle
Buyer’s Brief: An investment property close to the train station

Our Goal
We had been too busy with the 3 kids over the last few years and kept putting off buying an investment property. We knew we wanted a property for capital growth over 20 years but didn’t know where to start. We found the prospect of doing everything ourselves all too hard, too many options, too little time, nervous of making a decision. Our main concerns were that we may pick the wrong area and that we would pay too much.

Our Solution
Propertybuyer helped narrow down the region, picked property to view, plus organised legals etc. Saved heaps of time, and gave us confidence in the property – that it met our needs. Afterwards we felt very relaxed and relieved that we had finally taken the positive steps toward starting a property portfolio, and confident that we made the right decisions. If you are thinking of engaging propertybuyer, you will be so happy that you did. They take the drama and stress out of property purchase, and you can rely on their advice to help you achieve your goals.

“....you can rely on their advice to help you achieve your goals”

Buyer’s Advocate, Kevin Mason
Jackie and Brent had a limited budget to work with however we were able to secure an established property with an existing good tenant in a blue chip suburb of Newcastle. We were able to purchase below the market appraisal and buy first week on market to beat the competition. Having a trust relationship with the real estate agent’s on the ground allows me to position our propertybuyer clients quickly and efficiently in front of other buyers and with access to APM plus RPData allows our team to organise a market appraisal within 24hrs to give our clients the knowledge and confidence to act fast.

3. Home Buyer & Property Investor Show - Melbourne

We are pleased to announce that propertybuyer will be exhibiting and speaking at the upcoming Home Buyer & Property Investor Show at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, Friday 29th - Sunday 31st August.

Cost of entry into the Expo itself is $20 for adults, however we are delighted to have a limited offer of 150 F*REE TICKETS to this fantastic event, showcasing the latest products and service offerings for all property investors and home buyers.

Cost of entry into the Expo itself is $20 for adults, however we are delighted to have a limited offer of 150 FREE TICKETS to this fantastic event, showcasing the latest products and service offerings for all property investors and home buyers.

Be quick, only 150 F*REE TICKETS available! Head to the ticketing section of the website, follow the prompts and insert the promo code ‘PROPERTYBUYER’ to download your special ticket offer.

Please come and visit us at STAND 1133 to meet the propertybuyer team!

When: Friday 29th, Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st August
Times: 10am - 4pm
Where: Melbourne Exhibition Centre

I will also be presenting a free seminar each day at 12.45pm on the 'Lounge with the Experts' on:

"Property strategies that work in today’s market".
Investors and home buyers often jump in too quickly without formulating a strategy. You need to understand which strategies actually work in a changing property market. Get clarity on which strategy gets you closer to your goals and the relative risks and rewards from each strategy.

Where: Lounge with the Experts
When: Friday 29th, Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st August
Times: 12:45pm

We’re looking forward to seeing you there and be sure to say hello to us at STAND 1133!

If you are interested in any of the above please contact Jason Low (Manager- Client Relations & Strategy) 1300 655 615 or 02 9975 3311 or email your enquiry to info@propertybuyer.com.au.

To review the full details of these opportunities you will need to sign a simple confidentiality agreement which protects our interests in the property. If you purchase a property, a fixed sourcing fee will apply.
We look forward to assisting you.


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