With newly listed properties attracting 100’s of buyers and selling with multiple offers, are you worried about finding or overpaying for a home? Here are my top 5 tips to help you shop & buy a little more wisely.

  1. Know and shop in your budget

It sounds simple, but in this market, if something is advertised in the $700’s it will likely sell for at least that if not more. If your price range is in the $500’s or $600’s – shop there. If you can’t find what you want in your price range it is probably time to adjust your search to either a smaller sized property, different type of property or different suburb. 

2. Do your research

And by that I don’t mean an Online Valuation Report, that’s the fastest way to heartache, but really getting to know what’s selling and sold recently. Nothing beats going to as many home opens as possible and immersing yourself in the local market.

3. Don’t pay for someone else’s reno

The better a property looks, the more competition there is going to be for it and the more you’re going to have to pay. Competition is at its fiercest for renovated & pretty properties – play there if you have the budget by all means. But if you’ve been consistently missing out, consider taking a different route. The ugly ducklings, less well presented & unrenovated homes attract a lot less buyer interest and competition and tend to sell more reasonably. This is where you’re likely to pick up a better value buy. That said, whilst cosmetic reno’s can often be done modestly, moving walls and making structural changes can’t. So be sure to buy something with good bones where the floorpan is going to work for you.

4. Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it’s good for you

Refer back to 3. House hunting seems to become more like Tinder each year. Do you buy the gorgeous renovated character on the subdivided lot or do you look a suburb or two further out and get the original mid century cottage on the full block with subdivision potential? Of course you still need to be happy with the home and location. But this is a big investment, better to wear your Nanna knickers and make sure it’s a sober hook-up.

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5. Have realistic expecations. And (dare I say it) be prepared to compromise

Six years ago I sold a 5×2 McMansion to move back to a cosy 3×1 Character close to Beaufort Street. I share it with my husband, two teenage sons, two dogs and two cats.  It’s one of the smallest homes I’ve ever owned, but it’s the happiest I’ve ever been. We only got aircon a few months back (true story). My kitchen has no corner cupboard doors (the previous owner removed them because they were busted) and laminex bench tops *senses horrifed gasp*. Why? Because after having lived in far too many homes, I realised that there’s a difference between a huge amount of space & the right amount of space. And that for me, location was everything.

Larger and flashier didn’t make me happier. Well, it was nice at the start, but a granite benchtop won’t make you a better cook. Although I’ve got a client that just bought a $9k steam oven that might. I appreciate it’s a very personal thing, but if you’re struggling to afford what you want, maybe it’s time to adjust your expectations and accept what you can afford. Start with what you genuinely need and work forward from there.

Unless economic and market conditions change drastically, I don’t see a change to the market coming any time soon. One thing to consider is that whilst it might look like you’re paying slightly over the odds for something now, with price growth predictions for Perth as high as 19% for this year, and property prices still lower than the peak in 2014, that might not be the case in 12 months time.

Good luck!

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Natalie Hoye is the Founder and Licensee of Red Fox Property Group – a boutique agency doing things differently in the suburbs surrounding Beaufort Street. We call it ‘real estate alchemy’: a genuine blend of science and intuition, marketing and magic, head and heart. The Red Fox Way. And we’d love to chat with you about your local real estate needs. Call us now on 0405 812 273.