Generally, over the festive period, there tends to be a drop off in buying activity, and many real estate agents are on holidays. Does that mean the whole market grinds to a halt? Not at all. It just means that there are less buyers actively hunting for a property – i.e. less competition.
And that may just be able a great opportunity for you to find and successfully buy your dream home. And with interest rates continuing to hover around record lows, now really is a good time to jump into the property market.
Trying to find and purchase your dream home is never an easy task. A task made even harder when you are trying to get your property purchase sorted in your summer holiday, over the festive period. Whilst it may be a stressful experience, it may also be a great time to get the ball rolling.
To help you, we’vre listed below the top five tips to a stress-free home buying experience during the festive season:
Tip #1: Identify your property needs: Make a list of features that your ideal property ‘must have’; including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you require, whether you need a covered garage, a backyard, or whether it needs to be in a certain catchment area. Be sure to differentiate between features that are ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-have’. Once you know exactly what you are looking for, you can narrow down the list of homes you wish to inspect. Don’t visit properties that don’t meet most of your requirements – unless, of course, you are willing to spend big on renovations.
Tip #2: Make the most of property inspections: If you visit six different properties in the space of two hours, chances are the homes will blend into one by the end of the day. Take photos of the different properties you visit. Take notes on the features you loved and hated. And always take the brochures being offered by real estate agents. Finally, don’t hesitate to ask the agent to view the property more than once if you are serious about putting an offer in.
Tip #3: Define your monetary limits: See a mortgage broker to get an idea of the maximum amount you can spend on your new property. If your limit is $700,000, stick to it. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of an auction and bid beyond your means. This will lead to additional financial pressures for the term of your mortgage.
Tip #4: Prepare and regularly update a budget: Identify your income and monthly expenses in a budget. The difference between your net income and outgoing expenses should be more than your expected mortgage repayments. Don’t forget to account for things like utility bills, rates and home and contents insurance. Remember to update your budget regularly to identify areas of overspend and areas where you can save money.
Tip #5: Research your home loan options: There are a range of factors to consider when comparing home loans (e.g. loan term, repayment type, features, flexibity, rates, fees, etc.). Consider engaging a home loan specialist such as a mortgage broker to help navigate all the options available to you. A mortgage broker will be able to help you understand your borrowing limits, compare interest rates and features and identify the home loan that best suits you and your needs both now and in the future.
Armed with these tips, you may just be able to find the right property for you this festive season. And, given the current state of the property market, now really is a good time to buy.