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Finding “The One”

House HuntingWe all know that feeling.  You login to Allhomes to search the new listings and the next thing you know, you’ve fallen in love.  It’s grey, rendered, has the perfect patch of green lawn out the front (ok, maybe not given the Canberra weather lately!) and boasts a double – not single – lock-up garage.  You have a feeling it could be “the One.”

Looking for a new home – whether it’s your first home or an upgrade – can be an emotional time.  You can’t help but start to imagine where the kids will play, how you’ll fit all your friends over for dinner and where you’ll put the veggie patch you’ve always wanted.

There’s always going to be emotion involved when buying a new home. You just need to be careful not to let your emotions take over.  Otherwise the whole process can be much more stressful (and costly) than it needs to be.

Here are a few reminders to help you think objectively when looking for your new home.  That is, at least until you’ve exchanged on the contract… you can then get as excited as you want!


1. Don’t be seduced by things that are easily changed

Most of the things that help us to connect with a home are soft or replaceable items that don’t actually come with the purchase.  It might be existing furniture, artwork on the walls or an adorable cubby house that tug at the heartstrings.  These things give a house personality and a sense of homeliness – a feeling we generally want to experience when weighing up our purchase options.  Remember that these feelings are ones you can create for yourself, once you move in.  Try not to assess the suitability of the home on its styling (or lack there of).  If you do, you are likely to miss out on good opportunities.

Things you should pay attention to instead are:

  • The layout – the ‘bones of the house’ – Does the floor-plan match the way you and your family like to live?  Could the house be extended if you have plans to expand later on?
  • Ability to change – Don’t like the wallpaper or the colour of the kitchen? Not a fan of the carpet?  These things can be changed! Just remember to factor these additional costs in when determining how much you are prepared to pay for a particular property
  • Which direction does it face – How does this affect the ‘liveability’ of the home?  Are there areas of the property you’re unlikely to use because they don’t get enough natural light?  Can this improved by adding skylights/ doors or windows?
  • Your non-negotiables – Does the home meet your list of ‘non-negotiables’? If not, what are you happy to compromise on?
  • Location – is the property close to things that are important to you?


 2. You would be amazed at how often ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’ comes along

It can be tiring looking for ‘the one,’ week-in and week-out.  We get it – we’ve been there too.  We also know it’s very easy to buy-in to the emotion/ pressure/ excitement of it all and feel the need to act immediately.  This can result in buyers making a bid higher than what they can afford, or placing an offer on a property that doesn’t actually tick all the boxes.

We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t go in strong when you find the home that fits the brief, fits with your longer term plans AND stacks up on price.

But to know this for certain, you need to be really clear in terms of what you’re looking for in a new home.  You need to be prepared and you need to have done your research.  In most cases, you also need to be patient.


3. There are people ready to help you

You don’t have to do it all alone – in fact, we would prefer you didn’t!  Sometimes just by talking through your options with someone, it can help to clarify what you’re hoping to achieve.

Our team can help you by:

  • Sharing almost 2 decades of knowledge & experience of the Canberra property market
  • Getting the finance side of things sorted (one less thing for you to worry about – bonus!)
  • Calculating how much you can borrow (how much you could  borrow doesn’t necessarily equate to how much you should  borrow)
  • Offering alternative options (things you didn’t know were possible – for example, buying your first property as an investment, buying your next home as an investment with the idea to move into it later on).


If you stay objective throughout the house hunting process, you have a better chance of buying the right property at the right price.

Good luck!

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