As someone who has recently sold my own house, as well as started building a new one, there are plenty of insights that I have been able to learn over the last couple of months in regards to the property market in Australia. Here are my top 3.
1 – Selling a house is all about meeting the market’s expectations
Prior to starting the build on my new house, we decided it would be financially prudent to sell our existing house and rent for a while. The main reason for this is that I didn’t want to have a giant amount of debt hanging over my head by owning two properties, then not be able to sell our old house once the new one was complete.
We were prepared for the whole house selling process to take quite a lot of time and effort. I had listened to numerous people tell me their horror stories about how the property market was dead and how they were still trying to sell their houses months after listing.
We sold our house in 9 days after it was listed – 9 days! The reason for the speed was that we had a product that was priced appropriately and was dressed to sell. We spent about $2,000 doing the place up and hiring a storage locker to ensure that the house looked as good as it possibly could.
2 – The value of a property is in the land
When we were looking for Land for sale we originally started looking closer to the city than we are currently living. However after only looking for a short while, we realized that we just couldn’t afford to live that close to the city as the land was so expensive. It makes sense though, people want to live close to the city and are willing to pay a premium for it.
So we ended up deciding to buy a block closer to where we are now, as we could buy a larger block of land for the same amount of money. The advantage of living a bit further afield is that we have plenty of choice when it comes to selecting a block of land, plus we get to move into a brand new home.
If we were closer to the city, there is far less land available (almost none) so you either buy an existing place which might not be exactly what you want and is likely to need at least some repairs or renovations, or you can do a demolition job and build what you want later (Note: This is a very expensive way to go).
3 – Project builders don’t include much in their list prices
After purchasing the land, we then went on a mission to find the perfect house plan from a project builder. We ended up spending quite a few weekends checking out display homes before we landed on one we were happy with.
What we learned was that despite many of the builders quoting a specific price, quite often this only included what I would consider a minimal level of inclusions. As an example, many builders don’t include driveways or fencing, but they are things that the majority of homeowners would want included – so remember to read the fine print.