Making the big jump – What buyers want when searching for a home

Written by in Buying on November 11, 2013

According to a recent survey, the great Australian dream of owning your own home is alive and kicking. Of the buyers surveyed, 72 per cent of people own their own home while 28 per cent rent but are looking to buy in the near future.

With the spring ‘boom’ now in full swing thanks to historic low interest rates, there’s been talk that savvy investors are pushing first home buyers out of the market. The truth is buying a property is one of the biggest life decisions Australians will ever make, so it’s no surprise that the more experienced buyers are dominating the field.

However whether you’re a first-timer, next home buyer or investor, your decision is ultimately based on sound research and information. We wanted to get under the skin of what is and isn’t important to buyers when they are preparing to buy a property. Buyers were asked to rank their top preparation rituals as well as the top pieces of information they want access to when researching.  Here’s what we found…

We only trust our own opinion when it comes to property

These days we can’t make a decision on anything without first checking reviews on the internet or sourcing feedback via our social media networks – whether it’s something as simple as where to eat or something more significant such as what car to buy. However it’s not the case when it comes to buying a home, one of the biggest decisions we’ll make in our lives; instead of relying on peer reviews and feedback, the top two ways buyers prepare to purchase a property is to conduct their own research on everything possible (from finance and local amenities to house prices) and attend open inspections – suggesting that Australians trust first person experience over the opinion of others.

In fact, talking to families and friends was last on the top 5 list of information sought for all but the first homebuyer, who understandably might feel uncertain about their first purchase.

Top 5 preparation rituals when buying a property

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Data is king

When it comes to the information buyers want access to the most while searching for a property, recent sales, auction results and median house prices dominated the top 5 list of information researched. Unsurprisingly, the seasoned investor also valued historical sales. The only exception to the case was the first home buyer, who prioritised legal information and home loans over recent sales, and was also after tips and advice for their first time.

“Safety First” is “Safety Always”

Interestingly overall crime statistics was ranked number three on the top 5 information needs of buyers. However safety was more of a concern for homebuyers than investors – crime statistics also moved up in importance for older buyers (ranking no 5 for first home buyers, no 3 for next home buyers upsizing, and no 2 for next home buyers downsizing) but didn’t make the cut for both first time and seasoned investors.

Have a look at our tables below to get a full breakdown on how the different buyer types prepare and what information they are seeking when house hunting. And if you’re after some tips to make the most of the spring ‘bloom’, check out at our tips in our advice centre

Top 5 pieces of information buyers want access to when researching a property

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