By Michelle May
People say that death, divorce and moving house are three of life’s most stressful events. Well, I can certainly vouch for the third one!
Having worked as a buyers agent for more than 14 years, it’s safe to say that searching and securing properties for clients has become second nature. However, my recent experience moving house has highlighted just how complicated the process can be when you don’t have a professional by your side.
Even with my experience, plenty of moments highlighted how confusing and stressful things get when buying and selling a home! On the upside, the experience was undoubtedly educational and here are a few things that I learned.
You can’t do it all.
I am proud to say that my clients always experience a calm, organised and strategic approach when I help them buy their dream home. I’d love to say that’s how I handled my own move – unfortunately, it wasn’t! As a mother of two and a business owner, juggling everything on top of going to open homes, preparing to sell my house, and still buying properties for clients was tricky.
Naturally, you get pulled in so many different directions on your property hunt that having someone independent by your side to save time and keep your search on track is crucial. Having an impartial ally also plays to the next point:
It’s impossible to remove your emotions from the equation
Should you follow your heart or your head when buying a property? In reality, you need a good mix of both, but there’s a good chance that your emotional side has a louder voice than the logical!
As much as we’d like to admit that we can be objective and assess a property for its investment potential, it is very hard to check your emotions at the door, especially factoring in your family members’ feelings.
Again, finding someone independent and not afraid to tell you a few home truths is vital. If you don’t have access to a property professional’s expertise and strategic mind, find someone you trust. Make it their job to provide that analytical balance and ensure that the extra storage and picket fence don’t blind your decisions.
Don’t let a time crunch control your decisions
There were points in the moving process where I felt like I had to make quick decisions and rush things along. That feeling was compounded by a to-do list as long as my arm. Spending such a long time in one house meant a lot to organise.
However, putting extra time pressure on yourself is a sure way to make mistakes. Whether you’ve already sold and are looking for somewhere new to buy or have made an offer and need to sell to get your finances, rushing the process will only lead to bad decisions.
Yes, there will be pressure to get things pushed through but try not to dance to someone else’s tune – unless you absolutely have to!
You don’t have to buy straight away but renting has its challenges
Many homeowners subscribe to the belief that paying rent is a waste of money. Why pay someone else’s mortgage off when you could be paying your own? However, six to 12 months of rent now can make you hundreds of thousands of dollars later. Effectively, you’ve bought yourself the time to make a smarter property purchase.
However, be aware that the rental market in Sydney is crazy right now. I’ve been at open homes for houses that charge a premium, and there are still upwards of 30 groups waiting to go through.
Subpar properties with bad layouts and damp problems are being snapped up. I’ve even seen plenty of great applications knocked back because others have offered well above the asking price.
There are phenomenal properties out there if you know where to look. Working with a well connected professional will help you find a temporary home that allows you to slow down, breathe and make a smarter investment in your next home.