As far as traditions go, making new year’s resolutions is often a vanity game, with most declarations of change related to how we look. “I will go to the gym!” we pledge, “and I will start eating healthy salads for lunch instead of those delicious kebabs below my office!”
Health-conscious promises aside, there are new year’s resolutions we should all be making in 2017 that relate to another matter altogether: real estate.
Whether you own property or not, these are some smart promises to get 2017 off on the right foot.
1. “I will review my bank accounts”
If you have a mortgage, then this task is so important that bold typeface doesn’t even cut it. YOU MUST REVIEW YOUR MORTGAGE! Fixed rates are shooting up, banks are lifting their interest rates independent of the RBA, and further change is expected next year. Now is the time to review your loans and make sure you’ve got the best deal. While you’re at it, you should also check your savings accounts to make sure the rate is competitive.
2. “I will meet with a mortgage broker”
Regardless of whether you have a loan or not, meeting with an experienced mortgage broker is a smart move. Those with a mortgage can ensure they’re not paying too much interest and have the right loan. Those without a mortgage yet can ask that all important question: “What’s it going to take for me to be able to buy a property in 2017?”
3. “I will get organised”
Make 2017 the year you finally create a budget – and stick to it.
4. “I will finally spring clean my closet”
Struggling to find your favourite frypan in the mess that is your pot drawer? Have you been bothered by the state of your closet for months? Make January your literal fresh start by cleansing your home of clutter. It takes surprisingly less time than you might expect, and feels oh so satisfying.
5. “I will get off the rental roundabout”
Have you been thinking about buying a property for eons, but have yet to actually do anything about it? If you can’t afford to take the plunge right now, then make 2017 your year to prepare to buy property. This could mean you work to pay off your credit cards (which increases your borrowing power), or that you save 10% of your income to start building a deposit. Just making sure you take some sort of action to start working towards your real estate goals.
6. “I will not get my property advice from my brother”
Or my aunty, or my neighbour, or that guy from work who seems like he knows a lot about real estate. Listening to well-meaning friends and family can be a costly mistake. The only people you should listen to when it comes to property is an actual, qualified, independent expert.
7. “I will not listen to an expert”
By this we mean, don’t listen to one expert when you’re contemplating buying a property – qualify your own research by listening to lots of different experts. Speak to your bank, talk to a mortgage broker, seek out independent investing advice if you need it. Just make sure you listen to a range of opinions before making any property or finance decisions.
8. “I will pay attention on the first Tuesday of the month”
The first Tuesday of every month (except January) is the day that the Reserve Bank meets to set and announce its interest rate decisions. This impacts everyone who has credit – such as a credit card or mortgage – and everyone who has savings. The announcement happens at 2.30pm DST, so mark it in your calendar – then impress your friends and colleagues with your up-to-the-minute insights and commentary.
9. “I will not sign a contract without legal advice”
Throughout 2016, there were countless stories of property buyers who were swindled out of profits and fair transactions by ruthless sellers and shonky operators. Particularly if you’re new to property investing, make sure you have an independent solicitor review the contract on any property you’re considering buying. They can help you spot any red flags, before it’s too late.
10. “I will have fun!”
After all, real estate is all about finding your new home, creating beautiful memories and building your wealth. It should be a fun ride, right?