Buying a home is a big decision and should not be made lightly. When buying a home, it is advisable to keep the following in mind:
- Knowing what you're looking for: Before beginning your search for a home, take a moment to decide what exactly it is that you are looking for in a property. How much space will you need? Do you require a home close to schools or shopping centres? Establishing your needs before hand will greatly reduce the time it takes to find your perfect home, making the process a quicker and less tedious affair.
- Knowing what you can afford: It is vital to acknowledge and understand your financial limitations when considering buying a home. Taking this into account can prevent unnecessary financial stress in the future.
- Knowing what to look for: When you have found a house that is to your liking, it is sensible to look passed emotions to check for faults in the property. For example: Leaking roofs (typically recognizable by yellow stains on the ceiling), leaking taps, foundation cracks (not to be confused with minor hairline cracks), mould and salt build-up in older houses, etc.
- Knowing that you are ready to commit: As mentioned above, buying a home is a big decision and a serious commitment, with regard to both yourself and the seller. It is imperative that you are certain that you are satisfied with a property before making an offer to the seller.
- Knowing what costs will be involved: Buying a property involves other costs in addition to the selling price. These may include; Transfer and bond costs, attorney fees , stamp duties and levies in the case of Lock-Up & Go units (governed by a Body Corporate). It is important to be aware of and to make provisions for all relevant costs involved.
When selling your property there are a few important things to remember; It is crucial that your home is presented in as appealing a way as possible, for example:
- Pavement and driveways: Ensure that the front of your property is neat and welcoming. Remove any weeds and clutter, keeping the yard tidy.
- Cleanliness: Make sure, before every viewing, that the property is as near to spotless as possible. For example, windows are clean inside and out, faucets and sinks are clean and mirrors are polished. Water stains are unattractive. Rugs should be steamed and all wooden furniture/fixtures should be oiled and well care for. All of this makes a dramatic difference to both the lighting and general appeal of the house.
- Clutter: Unnecessary clutter and knick-knacks make rooms appear smaller and messy, so clear these out as much as possible.
- Fixing it up: Basic maintenance and small touch-ups can go a long way to improving the over all appeal of your property. Leaking taps, scuffed or scraped floors, blown bulbs, etc, can leave negative and damaging impressions.
- Freshening up: If you smoke or own pets, it is important to pay special attention to cleansing the home of any unpleasant odours. Opening windows, installing an automatic air freshener as well as cleaning linen and curtains before a showing can all go a long way.
- Light and Bright: Placing mirrors and lights in strategic areas can increase the sense of space.
- Decorations: Decorations carefully selected and placed can do wonders for your property. For example, paintings can be used to cover blank walls, sculptures/potted plants can be used to create a focal point in a room, mirrors for creating the illusion of space, etc. It is, however, important not to get carried away with decorations for fear of circling right back to clutter.
- Price wise: When deciding to sell your property, consult with your estate agent to ensure that your selling price is reasonable. Properties with unrealistic selling prices are less likely to sell. It is important to see your home objectively as much as possible, realizing what might be unappealing from the point of view of the buyer and doing what you can to fix this.