So you have been told to become an expert in real estate before you buy a home, but how do you actually do that? How do you research your next home so that you buy at the right time and for the right price?
It might be easier to forget becoming an ‘expert’ and instead think about gaining information on two levels: broad and specific knowledge. You don’t have to be an economist to be a smart home buyer, but you do need to have knowledge about local and national markets. Local knowledge will help you identify and evaluate aspects of a property, helping you value the home prior to auction, while larger market knowledge will help you better time your purchase.
Finding a home through filters
Filters are an underrated tool when searching for homes online.
Filters allow you to not only hone your property research down to things like building type (townhouse, apartment, etc.), building size, land size, and location, but also allow you to use keywords to find homes that tick various boxes for you. For instance, if you are looking for a home that belongs to a particular architectural style, you can use keywords like ‘modernist’, ‘Victorian’, ‘period’, or ‘cottage’. This extends down to the smallest of attributes in a home, such as ‘timber flooring’, ‘swimming pool’, ‘refurbished’, ‘renovated’, ‘development potential’ etc. Filters and keywords are your number one tool for once you are ready to actually find your next home.
What is your home’s value?
Are you selling your current home to either downsize or buy a larger home? As part of your research into your own home, you can benefit from onsite functionalities like our ‘Price Estimate‘ tool.
The ‘Price Estimate’ tool allows you to research and calculate the value of any home in Australia. This is a great first step when selling a home to finding an indicative value of your home that you can then take to your real estate agent. The tool’s algorithm evaluates your property’s attributes (bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.) and compares these to similar properties nearby to your home and then provides a property price estimate.
Get your hands on some market data
Market data is key to researching your next home. When browsing potential homes for sale, you can use realestateview.com.au’s collated market data to see a broad range of data relevant to that home. For instance, interested in what schools are near the home?
You can be a little nosy and find out about local demographic data relevant to any property listed for sale:
While one of the most important segments of information you can view is a 12-month glance at median sale prices for both freestanding houses and units in the local neighbourhood pocket. This gives you a microscopic look at the local market and helps you to evaluate whether a listed home will likely reach its expected price and how you should approach your own bidding or buying strategy for the home.
External market data is also key to researching your next home. Become a regular reader of the various economists in the media, thinktank reports, research reports, and industry news and reports. All of this information will accumulate in your mind and give you a strong idea of the national market, state markets, and city markets. Having this information bouncing around in your head will help you time your purchase.
Nothing replaces reality when researching for a home
Regular inspections of homes in not only your desired neighbourhoods but in other areas will give you an invaluable insight into what you can expect from your home. Be vigilant and prepare a list of things to tick off when inspecting a home, such as signs for structural damage, quality of fixtures (window frames, plumbing, etc.), quality of appliances, potential for renovation, repairs you would want to see done before buying, and then things you like about the home.
Doing this on a regular basis, many months before you even intend to buy a home, will begin to generate visible patterns once you look back on your ‘reports’. You will begin to identify common trends in homes for sale as well as attributes that interest you of which you may not have been aware.
Get to know your real estate agent
Real estate agents are an invaluable and integral tool for researching your next home. Often working in the industry for decades and having seen fluctuations in the market, various auction bidding techniques, home design trends, and with expert knowledge of your local neighbourhood market, they are key to researching potential homes. Forming good relationships with real estate agents can yield unexpected rewards, especially as they can be the first to know of potential homes for sale, and if your number is in their phone, you can be the second person to know.