Tips for House Hunters
Buying in Newtown is pretty easy from a buyer’s point of view – because it’s an exclusive patch of real estate with everything you need within reach. Here, Charles Bailey, shares his top house-hunting tips.
1: Walk the walk
This is a walkable suburb, so grease the wheels on the stroller and hit the footpath! My top tip is to park the car and walk to your opens. I walked to three of mine last week – it was that easy. But that’s not to say cars (or bikes!) aren’t a handy tool in the home buying process. The drive-by is valuable reconnaissance – and you should do it more than once. Visit in the morning, check out the parking, listen for traffic noise, then come back in the afternoon. I’d also recommend coming back in the early evening. By then commuters have cleared out, the streets have become quieter, and residents reign.
2: Talk the talk
Some buyers have an irrational fear of talking to the experts – but we won’t try to sell you a set of steak knives. I’m a local of 25 years and from schools to bus timetables, there’s not much about the area I don’t know. Talking to your agent is also the way to get ahead of the listings. Attending a disappointing open can be turned from a bad day into a good one if you strike up a conversation about what you’re after. If a buyer tells me what they’re after, and then I talk to an owner who’s thinking about selling, we can put it together really fast. And that’s before anyone else knows about the listing.
3: Use the tech
Forgot your tape measure? No worries. Urbane provides interactive floorplans for every property we sell and they’re not only useful, they’re good fun too! You can add furniture and move it around to see where it goes best. Not happy with how it looks? You can even take down or put up walls to get a proper feel for your renovation plans. And if you can’t be there on auction day, no drama. Our Australian-first technology platform Urbane LIVE means you can stream auctions to your phone, tablet or computer and even bid remotely.
4: Do the research
Doing the research is a lot more useful than crystal-ball gazing. There is no way to know the exact future timetable of the real estate market. Buyers often say they are waiting for the market to drop ‘just a bit more’ but that can be the folly of those now in a market that is so radically different to this time last year. If it were possible to know the exact top and bottom of the market, we’d all be squillionaires by now! So make that offer as soon as you fall in love. The slower market has added fuel to the buyer market. This is the best time to buy. It’s not frenzied like last year, but now is the time to buy.
5: Give it the green tick
If you’re looking for a healthy, efficient and comfortable home, then you need to know about the Liveability Real Estate Framework. It’s a future-focussed initiative – backed by CSIRO – that means you can identify the energy efficient features of a home at a glance. From low water garden and smart lighting to natural cross ventilation and solar PV, all members of our team are trained Liveability specialists and can help you to assess the properties on your hit list.
6: Enjoy it!
And finally, you need to make the process of finding a dream home enjoyable. After all, it is usually more of a marathon that a sprint. Plot your plan of attack using the whole week. The mid-week or evening opens are not as frenzied as those on a Saturday and you’re more likely to get one-on-one time with the agent. Be proactive about requesting private inspections – that’s the ultimate in truly experiencing the feel of a property.
If you only have the Saturday to get the job done, be kind to yourself. Start off the day with a double shot at Barmuda on Australia Street. Then grab a watermelon pastry next door from Black Star Pastry, and you’re set for the day.
Pounding the pavements in the inner west? Our property experts will help you become a local. Drop in to Urbane’s King Street office, or contact us today.
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