Bring on the boxes boys, it’s time to move!
If the day has come for you to pack and move on, it can be a highly stressful time filled with unknown challenges. There are so many things to remember, budget and plan for, that it can reduce even the most seasoned mover into a quivering mess.
One thing there seems to be no shortage of though, is real estate advice. The trouble is, if you are house-hunting, especially around unknown territory, it can be a tricky business knowing where to start, which advice to trust and what constitutes a ‘good buy’.
Take if from me, this is one area you don't want to get wrong as the odds are high and even the smallest mistakes can cost thousands and add years to your loan repayments. So where do you look? Who can you trust? What do you need? Where do you want to end up? All of these are relevant questions, so let's address them now.
Where - Locating a Location
Pinpointing an area you would like to move to and live, is much harder than just liking the location. I may love the lifestyle of South Yarra in Melbourne’s East but my budget sadly shakes it’s head and tells me ‘nope’. Luckily there are many up and coming areas that will be just as delightful to live in.
When building my new home I searched further afield than my usual stomping ground and realised Geelong, with its country town feel and seaside charm was perfect for me and still within commuting distance to Melbourne. I was lucky enough to find Luxury Home & Land Packages in Geelong from Enso Homes who made the whole process a pleasure. Whether you are looking to build new or buy an established home, try sites such as Realestate.com.au as, any agent worth his salt is going to have multiple homes listed online. These sites often have the ability to search using a map, making it easier to reach unfamiliar locations.
Once you have decided whether you are building or buying an existing home, it’s time to do a bit of leg work and start inspecting display homes / houses. Go as a family and make it a fun day out. See how the kids interact with the house and the neighbourhood. It’s a wonderful feeling to move into a house and look out onto the streets and watch your kids playing with other children from neighbouring homes. It’s the way we want childhood to be.
Try to look past the beautiful staging and artwork to see the actual bones of the house. How many rooms does it have and are they big enough? How much storage space is there? If looking at an existing property, has it been freshly painted? Could the paint be covering repairs or cracks in the walls? Do your building and pest inspections - they seem like a nuisance but costly problems can hide beneath a prettily dressed façade.
Speak to your Lender
At some point early in the process you need to speak to your lender. Even if you haven’t put your old property on the market yet, it doesn’t hurt to get the ball rolling. Many people miss out on their dream home because they haven’t organised approved finance before setting out. They then fall in love with a house, and have to desperately scramble to get their ducks in a row.
Once you have decided on where you want to live, start visiting auctions and watching the market results. This is the only reliable way that you can gauge interest in the area and what represents good value for money. If you are considering building, watching the market can give you an idea of what sort of budget would be realistic to avoid over-capitalising should you need to sell quickly.
Timing your Move
If you are moving to a completely new area and have school aged children, try to coincide the move with school transitional periods such as from kinder to primary or primary to secondary school or during school holidays. Also take into account work holidays, which can be the perfect time to organise, pack and move without disruption to your work schedule.
Moving to a new home can be one of the most exciting times of your life. New memories will be created, new friendships formed and a fresh perspective on life gained. Take your time to not only relish the experience but to do your research, gather all the information and make an informed decision that will benefit you and your family for years to come.
What are some of your tips when it comes to house hunting and planning the big move? Share with us in the comments below.
Till next time...research, plan, schedule!
About the Author
Rebecca Harris is a writer living in Melbourne with expertise in creating witty, insightful and engaging content. Her articles have been published widely and she is a prolific contributor on social media platforms.