1. Finance first
Don’t even think you are in the market until you have a pre-approved home loan in place. When you see the right opportunity you need to be able to act fast and having pre-approval helps make the process move faster.
2. Become a local expert
Don’t make your search to broad, pick three or four suburbs you’d like to live in and make it your mission to become expert in the local property market. Go to lots of open homes, get to know the local agents and follow up on what various homes sold for.
3. How easy will it be to sell?
Even as you are walking into an open home for a potential property you should be thinking about selling it, because one day you will. Is their anything special about it? A view, a cul-de-sac, close to a kindergarten, great local schools, access to beaches, etc? Keep this in mind when you’re looking to buy.
4. Think like an investor
You may be focused on the lifestyle you want and on finding the perfect place for your family, but your home is a critical investment and will become, what will most likely be, your biggest asset. You should be doing everything possible to buy it at the best possible price and achieve the best possible capital appreciation. Negotiate hard and be ambitious about future capital gains.
5. Be philosophical
Try not to fall hopelessly in love with a home before it becomes yours, it just makes the disappointment of missing out harder to take. You may end up bidding at multiple auctions, only to lose out to higher bidders – don’t beat yourself up. Remember, there is always another home around the corner.