Tips to conquer house hunting fatigue

Buying a home takes time. Not so much the actual act of putting in an offer, having it accepted and waiting on settlement, which can take as long as the settlement period of 30 to 120 days. But the process that comes before all of that. The process of saving for, looking for, and buying your dream home.

Depending on what is happening in the market and where you are looking, it generally takes an average of nine months to locate a home to buy.i  

If you throw in the time it takes to come up with a deposit, your timeframe is a lot longer – often stretching out to many years. Even over a decade for some. That means it can be hard to keep the momentum going. Let’s look at some ways to manage what can at times feel like a never-ending journey.

Have some room in your budget for fun

If you’ve been saving for a deposit for a while, you might be feeling like you’ve been frugal forever! It takes a lot of discipline to come up with a decent deposit and there is always that little voice in your head thinking ‘if I only had a little more to spend’ that spurs you on to save even more.

While it’s important to stay on target with your savings it’s equally important when you are in for the long haul to have a little wriggle room to enjoy yourself and have some allowance for a planned splurge now and then.

Know what you are looking for

It can be overwhelming with the amount of stock on the market, and if you feel your life revolves around going to open for inspections you might need to narrow the field a little.

While it’s useful to attend auctions and opens to get a feel for the market and understand what is a realistic price rather than rely on price guides that can be underquoted, it’s frustrating spending time looking at unsuitable properties. They key is to narrow the field, so think about things like where you want to buy and the size, age and condition of the property.

Also consider what you are prepared to compromise on. A neighbouring suburb may offer better buying power than the suburb you have set your sights on, or you may wish to consider a slightly smaller or older property.

Equally there are some things that might be non-negotiable for you. You might want something built in the last decade and be prepared to look at smaller properties to get that or you want an inner-city pad to be close to work and are happy to consider older ‘renovator’s delights’ to get the location you are after.

Hold out for the right property

While it’s important to be flexible and distinguish between your ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’, resist the temptation to buy a place that’s not quite right or exceed your budget to get the perfect property. It’s tempting to buy the next house you see so you can put all this stress and pressure behind you. However, you are likely to make multiple offers and be unsuccessful numerous times before you eventually succeed.

Remember that real estate agents are working for the vendor and if the terms are not to your liking or you are being pressured to make an offer that exceeds your budget or within an unreasonable timeframe, it’s OK to respond with a firm ‘no’. It can be a good idea to cultivate relationships with agents and let them know what you are after though, as they can do some of the legwork for you.

Take a break if you need to – it’s not a race and the odd weekend off might be just what you need.

Make sure you are ready when you find the right one

Finally, make sure you have your ducks in a row. Your most important duck – even before making a verbal offer – is knowing what you can borrow and having a pre-approval in place, and we can help with that. You’ll also need to think about conveyancing and building and pest inspections.

It can seem like a long journey, but you will get there! We are here to help you every step of the way.


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