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House-hunting rules to live by

House-hunting rules to live by

We’re in the midst of some pretty perfect buying conditions right now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework.

Jones and Co director Kelly Jones said prospective homebuyers should try not to get caught up in a buying frenzy.

“Find an agent you trust, develop a strategy and set down some guidelines so you can confidently embark on your homebuying journey,” Kelly said. “This is a very big financial and emotional decision.”

The team at Jones and Co have come up with a 12-point plan to help you get started.

1. Location: Arguably the most critical factor. And it’s a double-edged sword. Where do you want to live AND is the area a good investment? The ‘worst house in the best street’ has a lot going for it – you can make an ugly house liveable but you can’t change a bad location. Properties in a good location will give you a good return on your investment too.

2. Schools: Even if you’re not in the market for a family home or indeed a family, this should still be a consideration. A good school will have an impact on property prices now and in the future. A bad school might also mean a bad ‘hood. Be vigilant. If you have school-age children then avail yourself of school intake areas and education rankings. One street can make all the difference.

3. Neighbourhood: If you find a property check it out at varying times of the day and night. A good agent will be honest about the area but you can’t beat a Saturday afternoon walk around the neighbourhood to find out what’s really going on.

4. Crime: Do your homework. Check out CrimeStoppers and be aware of the security in the area. Talk to locals and take note of the looks you get when you’re walking down your prospective street.

5. The great outdoors: This is a big consideration for most people. How much green open space is in your suburb? Is it a riverside lifestyle you’re chasing? What about sporting clubs and pet-friendly parks? Are there a variety of children’s playgrounds? Are there enough trees to mask the afternoon sun? And do you want a view?

6. Style: If you fall in love with a character home make sure you do due diligence on the amount of work required to maintain it, or even to renovate it. Don’t underestimate the work involved in becoming the proud owner of a Federation cottage. At the same time, don’t let the work put you off. Often you can bag a character home for a bargain and there’s plenty of opportunity for you to put your own touch on it. If you decide a newer build is better for resale then stick to your plan and don’t get emotionally attached to a rose-clad white picket fence.

7. Future developments: Make sure you and your agent check with council and other relevant authorities on the status of development and/or rezoning plans and applications. There’s nothing worse than finding out your quiet street is about to have a block of units built on the corner.

8. House or apartment: Does your lifestyle require a quarter-acre block or will a villa or studio hi-rise do the trick? An apartment is normally cheaper than a house in the same location with the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and parking spots. But remember you’ll need to be open to shared facilities and living in much closer confines. And price growth is much slower than with a house AND your renovations will be restricted.

9. Parking: Are the parking arrangements adequate for you and your family? Is it off-street? Is it secure? Is it undercover? How many bays?

10. Visualise: Imagine your favourite furniture pieces and homewares in the space. And ask yourself: Can I picture myself living here?

11. Public transport: This is a big one. Perth is becoming more populous and our transport infrastructure is more extensive. Access to rail networks and main arterial routes is also a consideration for resale.

12. Retail: Pandemic life has taught us the value of reliable neighbourhood retailers and nearby supermarkets. And there’s something to be said for having a local café where your latte is ready for you when you walk in the door.

Happy hunting!

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