Buying a home is a process that requires consideration, planning and critical thought. For many, it can be both a challenging and exciting time, whether purchasers are seeking a forever home or an investment property. As such, Toorak Director Sarah Case sits down with us to advise our buying audience on how to best position yourself to find the right property, what expectations to have and important things to look out for.
What are the best questions to ask the agent about a home?
Sarah states, “it is important to ask questions about the age and construction of the home, and what upgrades it may have undertaken if applicable. For example, when was the last renovation? When was the plumbing and rewiring last renewed? Has there been any other improvements such as a new roof, solar panels or pool upgrade? Agents should be able to answer these queries, as it is key to understand a home’s construction with regard to longevity and value.”
In addition to this, most purchasers should enquire about surrounding lifestyle amenities such as nearby schools, cafes, transport, shops, and what the most important conveniences are to you as the purchaser.
What are things to look out for in a potential new home; traits of value and red flags?
Sarah’s first piece of advice is to look at long term growth prospects. “It’s important to consider growth with regard to position, you’re not going to get the same growth on a main road as a home on a side street, so while you may pay a more desirable price now, that could also be the case for the next purchaser in ten years. Secondly, as mentioned above amenities play a large part in overall value due to convenience. Value is added to homes that are walking distance from shops, transport, schools and cafes, so even if you are purchasing as an investment this is key to look out for.”
What are some long term considerations that buyers should clarify before purchasing their forever home?
Sarah admits, “sometimes buyers can get quite set in the particular life stage they are currently in e.g. young families think they need huge backyards, or if there is a pool they worry their children are too young for it. However purchasers do need to think long term, if it’s their forever family home for the next ten to fifteen years, they need to think about what life looks like then.”
An example of this, is if a property that currently has a paved alfresco area with no grass, doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Adding fake grass for the mean time can be preferable for a few years, especially as it becomes less necessary as children get older. Purchasers need to think about what will suit their family over the next decade.
How can stamp duty/land tax be simplified from an investment perspective?
Sarah states that the inconvenient truth is, “you can’t avoid either one. It’s just important that you always take it into account when you are buying. Victoria does have the highest stamp duty in the world currently, so you need to be able to afford it and have it at the forefront of your decision making when it comes to the price you’re willing to pay.”
The key tips for bidding at Auction or submitting an offer on a private sale
Auction Day is the time to show confidence. As a part of Sarah’s role, she bids for a lot of her clients at Auction, and loves doing it. Sarah advises, “it really sets the standard of certainty if you go in hard and early. Bidding big right at the start shows the other buyers that you are serious, and that you’ll do what it takes to buy the property, rather than playing cat and mouse games with low bids at the beginning of the Auction, which is common.”
Starting strong even if you do hit your reserve early, benefits the purchaser by knowing they’ve given it a good crack. “This approach has been really successful for me when bidding for others,” Sarah states.
For buyers looking to make a purchase before Auction, or submit an Expression of Interest, Sarah’s advice is “make it attractive to the vendor. If it’s above the top end of the quote range then you have a very good chance of buying it. This is the trick.”
As the market gets hotter in 2022, we want our community of purchasers to be equipped with the knowledge, insights and tactics to obtain the home of their dreams, backed with the professional insights of our experts.
To speak to Sarah about looking to purchase or sell, contact her below:
0439 431 020