Avoid Property Buyer's Remorse

The process of purchasing a property can be an anxiety-ridden one for buyers. But there are times when the usual concerns of such a big commitment can turn to genuine buyer’s remorse. Buyers should do their research upfront to avoid this unfortunate outcome.

“Buying a property is probably the biggest financial commitment that any person will get into in their lifetime,” says ooba elite club consultant Ute Kock. The ooba elite club recognises top performing sales consultants at ooba and, based on her wealth of experience, Kock is emphatic about the importance of being confident about one’s decision before making an offer to purchase.

Because buying a new home is a process involving research and compromise, it’s often not as simple as just identifying an area, and finding a home that matches your needs. “With all the variables involved, people can end up settling for a property or talking themselves into one that isn’t right. Because of the extent of the commitment, it’s important to be as sure as possible before you make an offer,” Kock says.

She suggests taking the following steps to make sure you’ve found the home that’s right for you:

Get prequalified

The biggest question around what property you will buy is usually what property you can afford. If you approach ooba for a prequalification certificate, your finances will be assessed and your credit record will be checked. You will then be told what value of property you can afford, and the likelihood of the banks approving your home loan.

“It’s also a good idea to save up for a deposit and start putting aside an amount of money equivalent to what your future bond repayments might be, so that you are in the habit of making those repayments before you’ve even started,” Kock says.

Research your areas

You might have a few suburbs in mind in which you’d like to house hunt, but you may realise that you can’t afford a suitable property in that area.

“As soon as you start looking in a more affordable area, it’s vital that you do your research properly,” says Kock. “Travel the traffic routes in rush hour, visit the local shopping areas and restaurants, consider how far you will end up living from friends, family, schools and your workplace, and make sure that none of that is too great a compromise.”

Consider your lifestyle

Make sure that your new home meets the basic requirements of your lifestyle. If you can’t imagine living without a pet, buy into a pet-friendly complex or free-standing house. Conversely, if you travel a lot, then don’t buy a house with a garden and a pool that require a lot of upkeep.

“At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that a house is a long-term commitment, so you should also take into account what your needs might be five years from now: Will you have children? Where will they be at school? Will you have moved jobs?” suggests Kock.

Listen to the little voice in the back of your mind

Home buyers can sometimes so desperately want a property to be right for them that they will convince themselves that it is. If you have any nagging doubts, explore them and have an answer that satisfies you.

“It is very important to be realistic about the kind of person that you are,” says Kock. “If you buy a fixer-upper, but you’re never going to have the time or the money to put in the work, then rather look for a smaller, better-maintained home. And if something just doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut.”

Get the experts in

When you do find a home that you like, call in a builder, electrician and plumber to inspect it so that you can be confident of the integrity of the structure and services before you offer. Although a seller shouldn’t conceal any existing faults – for instance by covering up rising damp – the offer to purchase states that the house is taken as it stands, so the onus is on the buyer to make sure it’s ship-shape.

“If any of your specialists uncover any problems, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy the property,” says Kock. “It simply puts you in a more powerful position to negotiate. Knowledge is power.”

She concludes: “Your goal shouldn’t be to get yourself settled in any property. It should be to find the perfect property for you, your lifestyle and your future. These tips should help you to be confident that you’ve found the one.” 

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