Research is so vitally important when you’re buying a house for three reasons:
- You want to make sure you’re buying in an area you want to live,
- You’re likely to benefit from increasing property values, and
- To gain an indication of a properties value so that you know what is a fair price to pay.
Let’s start with number 1. It’s important to think about your time frames. How long do you think you’ll want to live in this house? Is it going to be a stepping stone to something else or are you thinking long term? Will a one bedroom apartment still work for you in 3 or 5 years? You might want to live close to the nightlife now, but will you still in a couple of years? What’s in the local area? What vibe do you get from the locals? Is this somewhere you can see yourself living?
What do you want from this home now and in the next few years?
Property values. How do you know if you’re buying in an area that is likely to increase in value without having a crystal ball? Firstly, history is a good indicator. What have property prices done over the past few years? Has there been a steady increase or a steep jump? Is gentrification happening or planned for the near future? Is there infrastructure planned that could have a negative or positive impact on values? A call to council can help uncover any planned developments and talking to the locals can also be very insightful.
Do your research to minimise any surprises.
Finally, you need to find RECENT, COMPARABLE, LOCAL sales prices so that you can get an indication of the market value of the property you’re interested in. The agent will tell you the price that the vendor wants, but the vendor might be dreaming. Remember, the agent’s commission is based on what price he sells for – so the higher price he secures, the higher his commission. He is going to be talking things up. If you go into negotiation without doing your homework, you might miss out on the property because you’re offering too low, or you might pay too much by believing the agent’s sales pitch.
Once again, knowledge is power.
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As always, I’m here to help if you need me.
Get studying and good luck!