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Friday 6 March 2015

The five basics of the property search

The five basics of the property search: Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden – Property Observer

For almost anyone looking to buy, even in the current market, start with the basics. Not being driven by constant media headlines, but concentrate more on what you as a potential buyer want, what are you looking for in your purchase, what are your immediate needs and plans for the future?

What are the basics:-  finance (your budget), location, timing and a hard-nosed view on the ‘must-haves’ in your property search.

The available finance or budget for any purchase is the essential starting point. It’s a topic that any buyer very likely thinks about the most.  There’s lots of help and options available. Plan your finances and always think well beyond today, take into account the ups and downs, which might happen, in your personal affairs.  Get as much information as you can. Lenders are keener than ever for your business, and help to find the best loan is free.

Right now we have the lowest interest rates since 1959. So plan your finances to take the maximum advantage of competitive rates, but keep in mind that rates will almost certainly go up sometime in the future. So make the best of the prevailing conditions.

If you lock in a three year or five year term, make sure that you still have the ability to make additional repayments, now while rates are low, and always keep in mind add-on costs like stamp duty, legal fees, moving costs, the possible need for temporary accommodation and be aware of any fees that attach to your home loan. Look beyond the headline details and understand the fine detail of your finances, that’s my basic point here, don’t only concentrate on the interest rate.

It pays to be flexible because it can be easy to become fixated about a particular location, and if this happens early in your search, the location can become an unnecessary roadblock. Take time to explore options because the ideal option might just be in an area or suburb you have previously overlooked.

The key points of any location often revolve around access to transport and facilities, but there could well be options if you take a flexible approach. As different governments start to roll out new infrastructure many areas will change over the next few years. If for example you want to live close to rail connections, an option might be the drive and park facilities.

Schools and shopping can also be important, the right school can be a tough one, but with many larger shops in particular supermarkets virtually now open 24/7, can you be more flexible? And it pays to be aware of what future developments might be coming to an area that may well add future value.

For apartment buyers open space is also a key point of location. Today many new developments are very well planned and designed with very attractive indoor and outdoor spaces, so when considering location take a close look at what’s on offer with individual projects.

In the housing market the most common reason to move house is usually associated with family formation. Marriage, living together, having kids, a divorce or retirement, in reality a variety of circumstances will bring buyers into the market.

Sometimes these things might sneak up on some of us, but generally timing of a move should not be allowed to become that critical that it forces you to buy or sell with little time to plan. If you’re in a buyers market, there’s possibly less pressure but even if the market is a sellers market plan your move to suit your own timeline and avoid over commitment of your finances in order to try and beat the market, that might just create more problems in the future.

Must Haves
Any new apartment/house needs to fit your lifestyle, your aspirations, always aim to sign-off on the basics first, like the number of bedrooms, do you need parking, or is a secure storeroom more important. A good outdoor area, a balcony, terrace or courtyard will always be high on the list of must haves for many buyers.

Kitchens and bathrooms are now attractive spaces, kitchens are evolving into almost bespoke pieces of furniture in their own right – but if everything is not perfect, think about the options you might change. Balance a good location against possible interior changes or furniture options that you can make.

Also keep in mind things like privacy and natural light, and aspect and sunshine because in the rush for the designer-finish these simple things can be overlooked and they can make a great deal of difference to the appeal of an apartment in the long run.

It’s Your Home
When looking to buy I think it’s important to work to your own timetable, explore all of the options of finance and location and take charge of what should be an exciting time.

Try not to be distracted too much by the big-picture because the market is still full of different options. Your final choice might end up being different from what you had first thought of as your ideal home, it might just be better! Concentrate on the basics.

If you would like to discuss any of your property needs, whether it be renting/selling your property or buying a property in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (Bondi Beach, Bronte, Tamarama, Dover Heights, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Queens Park, Bellevue Hill and surrounding suburbs),  please feel free to contact me on
0413 807 344 or you can email me on with your enquiry.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Martine Harvey  – The Goldman Brothers – (Barry and Mark Goldman)
Raine and Horne Double Bay




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Credit: @detalhes_arquitetura

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Credit: @mermaidbayinteriors

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Credit: @dreamhomegallery

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Credit: @massivewoodmosaic

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Credit: @aniboufurniture

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I am a mother of 2 living in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. My two passions are Interior Design and Real Estate. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in both industries. I started off working in Interior Design assisting Interior Designer Darren Palmer which was amazing and a great experience. What I loved most was working with such a creative sole as Darren and having the opportunity to source and work with gorgeous products. From there I continued with my other passion in Real Estate. I am now a licenced Real Estate Agent with Raine and Horne Double Bay/Bondi Beach working within the Goldman team (Mark and Barry Goldman). As the saying goes:- "It's a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together" So very true for me and I feel very fortunate to be doing something that I love everyday around my kids and that's also rewarding.

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