Category: First Home Buyers

Making An Offer On A House – Where To Start | Century 21

Not sure where to start when making an offer on a house? Century 21 has you covered with the basic know-how. Browse now for more information.

You’ve been spending Saturdays driving around to open inspections. You’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each house you’ve looked at. Now you’ve made your decision and it’s time to put in an offer.  Where do you start?

Making an offer on a property you have set your heart on can be nerve-wracking. Just like any negotiation process you have to start somewhere but you don’t want to put in too high an offer and pay more than the house is worth, nor start too low and possibly miss out.

Before you put in your offer

Before you even make an offer on a house, be sure to do some legwork. Research the property thoroughly online to determine a fair market price. Look at how long the property has been on the market and check out recent sales of comparable properties in the same area.

Next, ask the selling agent who showed you around the property for some more information. Ask him or her about any previous offers and what price they think the vendors will accept. Ask why any previous offers were rejected. Request a second property inspection to be sure this is the house you want and also to get to know the agent and show serious interest.

Once you are sure you want to put in an offer, decide on the maximum price you would be willing to pay for the property and ensure your lender has preapproved a loan for this amount.

Conditional and unconditional offers

Most vendors selling by private treaty, rather than auction, set a sale price above the price they will actually accept to leave some wriggle room for negotiation. If they have a good selling agent however who has advised them wisely, this will be very close to a fair market value.

Having done your research, you will know whether or not this is the case and can decide on a fair first offer accordingly with room for the vendors to negotiate down and for you to negotiate up. It’s not advisable to put in a very low offer that could offend the vendors and stop them from negotiating with you further.

Offers can be either conditional, where you put conditions on the offer, or unconditional. It’s highly advisable to make your offer conditional on certain requirements such as obtaining finance or subject to the results of building and pest inspections. If any problems arise after you have had the inspections done, then you can use these to negotiate lower on price.

Put it in writing

Not all states require that your offer must be in writing but it’s advisable to do so anyway in order to have a record of the negotiations and what each offer and its conditions are.

This should take the form of a formal offer in writing (either letter or email) to the selling agent outlining the price you would like to offer and any conditions.

You can also offer favourable terms to the vendors such as a shorter or longer than average settlement term to sweeten your offer.

The waiting game begins

The selling agent will pass your offer on to the vendors. Be patient, wait and see the vendors’ response and whether they come back with a counter offer. Negotiations can go back and forth for some time, so consider each of your responses carefully and keep your top price in mind.

Keep the tone of all negotiations formal and neutral. Aim for a win-win for both yourself and the vendors and the process should go smoothly.

If negotiations reach your top price, then spell out that this is your limit and you are unable to go any higher. At this stage, the selling agent will likely advise the vendors to accept your highest offer.

Once a price has been agreed, you are on your way to owning your own home. The contract can be finalised and, once signed by both parties and the deposit paid, the deal is completed!

With over 3,000 offices, CENTURY 21 is the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region. We’ll help you purchase the property of your dreams. For more information on making an offer on a house, buying or selling, please get in touch with a local member of our team now.

 

 

 


0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 07/12/2016 at 3:30 PM | Categories: Buying - Investors - First Home Buyers -

Making An Offer On A House – Where To Start | Century 21

Not sure where to start when making an offer on a house? Century 21 has you covered with the basic know-how. Browse now for more information.

You’ve been spending Saturdays driving around to open inspections. You’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each house you’ve looked at. Now you’ve made your decision and it’s time to put in an offer.  Where do you start?

Making an offer on a property you have set your heart on can be nerve-wracking. Just like any negotiation process you have to start somewhere but you don’t want to put in too high an offer and pay more than the house is worth, nor start too low and possibly miss out.

Before you put in your offer

Before you even make an offer on a house, be sure to do some legwork. Research the property thoroughly online to determine a fair market price. Look at how long the property has been on the market and check out recent sales of comparable properties in the same area.

Next, ask the selling agent who showed you around the property for some more information. Ask him or her about any previous offers and what price they think the vendors will accept. Ask why any previous offers were rejected. Request a second property inspection to be sure this is the house you want and also to get to know the agent and show serious interest.

Once you are sure you want to put in an offer, decide on the maximum price you would be willing to pay for the property and ensure your lender has preapproved a loan for this amount.

Conditional and unconditional offers

Most vendors selling by private treaty, rather than auction, set a sale price above the price they will actually accept to leave some wriggle room for negotiation. If they have a good selling agent however who has advised them wisely, this will be very close to a fair market value.

Having done your research, you will know whether or not this is the case and can decide on a fair first offer accordingly with room for the vendors to negotiate down and for you to negotiate up. It’s not advisable to put in a very low offer that could offend the vendors and stop them from negotiating with you further.

Offers can be either conditional, where you put conditions on the offer, or unconditional. It’s highly advisable to make your offer conditional on certain requirements such as obtaining finance or subject to the results of building and pest inspections. If any problems arise after you have had the inspections done, then you can use these to negotiate lower on price.

Put it in writing

Not all states require that your offer must be in writing but it’s advisable to do so anyway in order to have a record of the negotiations and what each offer and its conditions are.

This should take the form of a formal offer in writing (either letter or email) to the selling agent outlining the price you would like to offer and any conditions.

You can also offer favourable terms to the vendors such as a shorter or longer than average settlement term to sweeten your offer.

The waiting game begins

The selling agent will pass your offer on to the vendors. Be patient, wait and see the vendors’ response and whether they come back with a counter offer. Negotiations can go back and forth for some time, so consider each of your responses carefully and keep your top price in mind.

Keep the tone of all negotiations formal and neutral. Aim for a win-win for both yourself and the vendors and the process should go smoothly.

If negotiations reach your top price, then spell out that this is your limit and you are unable to go any higher. At this stage, the selling agent will likely advise the vendors to accept your highest offer.

Once a price has been agreed, you are on your way to owning your own home. The contract can be finalised and, once signed by both parties and the deposit paid, the deal is completed!

With over 3,000 offices, CENTURY 21 is the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region. We’ll help you purchase the property of your dreams. For more information on making an offer on a house, buying or selling, please get in touch with a local member of our team now.

 

 

 


0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 07/12/2016 at 3:30 PM | Categories: Buying - Investors - First Home Buyers -

9 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home

Having your own home is the dream, but planning and making it a reality can be stressful. Ask yourself these 9 questions to see if you’re ready to buy today.

Buying your first home is one of life’s most satisfying and exciting achievements. Be it ever so humble, you can make it your own and remove yourself from the vicissitudes of living in share households or in rental properties.

You’ve been saving tirelessly for the deposit on your first home and feel you could be ready to leap into the property market. Are you really ready? Here are some questions to answer to find out:

1.    Are you eligible for any first home buyer assistance?

Grants for first home buyers and reductions on stamp duty charges can be a huge bonus to help you into the property market. Government assistance for first home buyers vary from State to State, so check what your State Government currently has available in the way of assistance for first home buyers. 

2.    Do you have sufficient saved for a deposit?

Most lenders will require a deposit of 20 per cent of the value of the property you are purchasing in order for you to qualify for a home loan. Some will lend up to 95 per cent of the value of the property but be aware that if you borrow more than 80 per cent, your lender will require that you take out lender mortgage insurance (LMI) which will cost you extra and protects the lender, not you, if you default on your repayments. 

3.    Have you found a mortgage broker?

Have you found a mortgage broker you feel is knowledgeable and trustworthy and will assist you to find the right home loan for your needs? Talking with several mortgage brokers, selecting one you trust and speaking with them in detail about your situation can be a great help in seeing you through the whole process of applying for a home loan. 

4.    Do you have all your paperwork ready?

You will need lots of evidence that can be shown to your lender to prove that you will be comfortably able to service your loan, such as wage statements, tax returns and bank statements. Your mortgage broker will be able to detail for you what is needed in your specific case.

5.    Have you cleaned up your credit history?

The less you owe anyone else, the likelier you are going to be successful in applying for a home loan. Try to pay down any credit card balances, car loans or personal loans as much as possible, before you apply to a lender for a home loan. 

6.    Do you have sufficient savings for all the costs of buying a home?

Even if you are eligible for a first home owner’s grant and/or stamp duty concessions, there are plenty of other costs involved in buying a home, over and above the deposit. These include stamp duty, government charges, mortgage fees, conveyancing costs and costs for building and pest inspections. Extra costs can add up to seven per cent to the final cost of your first home, so be sure to budget for this. 

7.    What repayments can you comfortably afford?

Once you have purchased your first home, you need to be absolutely sure you can make the repayments on your home loan. Be very realistic about this. At the moment, interest rates are at a historic low but they won’t stay that way necessarily. Consider how you would cope if interest rates went up in the next few years. 

8.    Are you planning to move in the next five years?

Buying a house is not a smart idea if you are planning to move within five years or so. The value of the home may not rise enough in that time to cover the costs of selling, moving and buying another home and you could lose money. Buy your first home with the intention of staying put for a few years. 

9.    What can you afford?

If you’ve answered the above questions, then you’ll have a fairly clear idea of what you can afford and can start looking at properties in your price range. You may have had plans to buy a two or three-bedroom house, but may have to look for options in a cheaper neighbourhood or settle for an apartment instead.

If you’ve answered these questions and feel quite confident you are ready to go ahead with buying your first home, then speak to a member of our team today to help you with your first property purchase.

 

First Home Buyers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 30/11/2016 at 3:30 PM | Categories: First Home Buyers -

First quarter of the year sees home values stabilise

The recent release of the RP Data-Rismark Hedonic Daily Home Value Index results for March showed that national home values rose 0.2 per cent in March 2012 – a potential sign that the Australian housing market is stabilising.  The market has remained unchanged for the quarter ending 31 March 2012; this flat result is the strongest result since March 2011 when values increased by 0.7 per cent.  

According to the managing director of Rismark International, Ben Skilbeck: “While the housing market remains soft, the zero per cent change over the first quarter of 2012 demonstrates that it is consolidating its position following the decline seen in the calendar year 2011.”

Over the month, the resource rich states delivered the strongest gains with Perth rising 1.4 per cent, Darwin up 1.1 per cent and Brisbane increasing by 0.8 per cent.  

The Index saw that the flat result seen over the March quarter was largely driven by the Sydney housing market which achieved the strongest gains over the quarter, with values rising 1.1 per cent.  Values were down across many of the other capital cities with the most significant drop recorded in Adelaide where dwelling values were down 1.5 per cent.  

Rismark’s Ben Skilbeck points out a number of factors that indicate an improvement in housing market conditions may have occurred over the past few months.  

“The ratio of national house prices to household disposable incomes is currently below the decade average.  Additionally, according to the ABS housing finance data, both the value and number of loan approvals for the purchase of established dwellings are at levels not seen since November 2009.  First home buyers as a proportion of home loans approved are back to levels not seen for two years,” said Mr Skilbeck.  

Charles Tarbey, Owner and Chairman of CENTURY 21 Australia said of the results: “While we must note that much of the improvement seen in the housing market is due in part to the Sydney market which rose 1.1 per cent over the quarter, we are nonetheless seeing signs of a potential stabilisation of home values. 

“Other factors such as strengthening auction clearance rates and improving demand from first home buyers are certainly encouraging indicators of both the current state of the national housing market and the potential for continued improvements over the course of 2012,” concluded Mr Tarbey.  

For more information about available property purchase opportunities in your area, please contact your local CENTURY 21 agent. 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 10/04/2012 at 10:17 AM | Categories: Finance - Property Management - Investors - First Home Buyers - State of the Market -

A good time for buyers in the housing market

The residential property market can sometimes be a confusing space to navigate, especially with the media attention it often generates and receives.  The views of property commentators, as well as the constant flow of data released, often appear to be conflicting, with the media conveying sometimes contradictory signals to buy, sell, or hold. 

I consider myself fortunate to be in the position I am, as I have access to our internal company data as well as the experience and opinions of the thousands of real estate agents in the Century 21 network, who are spread right across the entire country.  Having contact with such sources allows me to keep a firm grip on what’s happening in the market, in both capital cities and rural areas. 

At the moment, with the conditions that we’re seeing across the national market, it is my feeling that those who are ready to buy are positioned quite nicely.  According to internal CENTURY 21 data, which is a reflection of all CENTURY 21 offices across Australia, residential sales volumes are down of late – we have seen a decrease of 30 per cent from where they were around this time last year. 

And with transactions down, there are still significant levels of stock on the market; our figures indicate that there are approximately 67 per cent more properties for sale across the national CENTURY 21 network than there were at around the same time last year. 

Add to these figures the findings of the recently released RPData-Rismark Home Value Index, which saw a national decline of 1.3 per cent in capital city home values over the quarter to February 2011. 

So what does all of this mean for buyers? The fact that property transaction volumes are down could suggest that the market is currently wary and approaching purchase decisions with some trepidation.  If this is the case, then we are looking at a period where demand is low, which ironically can help to create favourable conditions for buyers.  The levels of competition that would otherwise need to be contended with are lower, which allows for some breathing space when it comes to making a decision, as well as giving you room to negotiate on price. 

And with the Reserve Bank of Australia deciding last week to keep interest rates on hold for the next month at least, buyers who require financing have another window of opportunity to obtain mortgages with favourable interest rates. 

It would appear therefore, that the property market in its current state may hold some good opportunities for those who are in a position to make a purchase.  I would suggest that these people make the most of this period and devote some time to researching and comparing the various properties and financing opportunities that are available.

Remember that our CENTURY 21 real estate agents all over the country are happy to answer any questions you may have about the properties that are available for purchase and general market conditions in your specific area. 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 08/04/2011 at 11:25 AM | Categories: Finance - Investors - First Home Buyers - State of the Market -

Should you buy a house or an apartment?

It seems to be a very common question when it comes to buying real estate, particularly for first and second-time buyers – will it be better decision to purchase a house or an apartment?

As a starting point, the factors that go into making this decision are mostly personal preferences.  These include whether the property is an investment or to be your residence, the location that you’d like to live in, how many people will be living in the property, what types of maintenance you are prepared to carry out personally, and so on and so forth. 

Investment vs. Primary Residence
Many investors find apartments to be easier purchases for a number of reasons.  Apartments do not necessarily require the larger amount of external maintenance (e.g. gardens, pools) and attention that an individual house will need, and the building’s strata manager/committee will usually take care of most building and remedial work that is required.  However, having this advantage comes at the cost of strata levies to the investor, which may have an adverse effect on the rental income that the property delivers. 

Investors should also consider the length of time they plan to hold on to a property for and the capital gains desired from the investment.  Using historical pricing as a guide, we have seen that both houses and apartments experience value gains; over a short to medium-term period, houses and apartments appear to show similar price gains, however over the longer term houses may see larger growth in value. 

For investors, rental potential and income are other factors that require consideration.  Many real estate agents believe houses to hold appeal for a larger market of renters, including families with children and pets, who may steer clear of apartment living.  Houses also often allow a higher rent to be charged. 

Having said this, however, price is obviously a factor that will be of pertinence to many buyers, whether purchasing as an investment or home.  While some apartments can be more expensive than houses (e.g. penthouses with water views in costly suburbs), in general terms, houses are usually the more expensive purchase, especially if you are comparing properties in the same area.  Apartments therefore may be a more friendly purchase option, especially for first-time buyers.      

Location & Space
High density housing is commonly found in city areas and suburbs that are only a short distance from the CBD.  Thus, if you desire an inner-city lifestyle, an apartment may be the best property option.  However, if you wish to live further away from the city and have enough room to accommodate several people including children and pets, you may find the extra space (both internally and externally) that a house usually provides may be more appropriate for your situation. 

In the end, the choice between an apartment and a house very much comes down to your personal circumstances.  By thinking about your needs and thoroughly researching the property market at the time you wish to buy, you should be able to reach a decision that is suitable for your situation.

If you would like advice regarding your situation and the decision to buy a house or an apartment, please feel free to visit one of the many CENTURY 21 offices around Australia.         


1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 04/04/2011 at 9:25 AM | Categories: Buying - Investors - First Home Buyers -

There are good opportunities for first home buyers available in the market

The presence of first home buyers in the residential property market has done somewhat of a back flip over the past couple of years. 

In 2009 we saw a peak in first home buyer activity – according to RPData first home buyers made up 28.5 per cent of all owner occupier finance in May of that year.  This was a period where the effects of the Global Financial Crisis could still be seen in lowered interest rates and government stimulus efforts. 

2010 however was a different story.  With the reigning in of the various government grants, including the First Home Owners Grant Boost, as well as several interest rate increases over the course of the year, the number of first home owners in the market decreased substantially.  A recent report from RPData shows that first home buyer mortgage commitments dropped to their lowest level in six years during 2010. 

There is no doubt that purchasing any property is a big, capital intensive decision to make.  And this decision is amplified many times over when you are considering your first property.  Consumer sentiment, interest rate stability, employment prospects and future income growth are big factors that are inevitably taken into account, and as we saw through 2010 these same factors can affect the confidence of first home buyers, holding them back from making a purchase. 

Keeping these factors in mind, I am hopeful that 2011 will see the return of the first home buyer; I see the market in its current form to hold some excellent purchase opportunities for those who are in a position to buy a property. 

The market itself has been somewhat subdued of late, with median house values across every Australian capital city dropping slightly over the quarter to February 2011.  There is also some consensus that interest rates will stay on hold at 4.75 per cent for the foreseeable future. 

For those first time buyers who are considering taking the plunge, I think that now is a good time to look at your budget and perhaps sit down with professionals such as real estate agents and mortgage providers who can give you realistic advice about your purchase options.  I would definitely advise against pursuing high levels of debt, and I think it is important that all eventualities are planned for, including the possibility of interest rate rises later in 2011. 

For any first home buyers who are looking to sit down and talk to an agent, please feel free to pop into any CENTURY 21 office around the country.  Our real estate experts will be able to take you through the available properties in your area and talk to you about the buying process. 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 28/03/2011 at 8:41 AM | Categories: First Home Buyers -

Why it is important to attend an open house before buying a property

Although they can sometimes be a great deal of work, the open house is one of my favourite aspects of the real estate selling process.  In most cases, much preparation will have gone in to ensuring that the property shines on the day, and owners are proud of what they are offering to the public. 

With property being one of the largest purchases that the average person will make over a lifetime, I am usually quite surprised to hear of situations where acquisitions are made by people who haven’t seen the property previously.   To me, the open house is an ideal way for prospective buyers to get a feel for a property and to ask questions of agents face to face in an environment where answers can be instantly understood and applied. 

I came across an article to this effect on the Sydney Morning Herald website recently, entitled ‘Chance to get all facts on the table’ by the chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, Enzo Raimondo. 

In the article, Mr Raimondo talks about the open house as an important and necessary part of the research needed to make what could be one of the most expensive purchases of your life, as they give you the opportunity to talk to agents and see a property of interest first hand. 

So how can buyers prepare for open homes and what should they be doing while attending?

Mr Raimondo suggests that before attending an open house buyers should make a checklist of important attributes and what they require from the property, such as architectural features or location. 

Upon arriving at an open house, Mr Raimondo recommends that buyers take the time to talk to the agents who are showing the house.  These people are experts, with both knowledge about the property and the local area, and even if the property in question turns out to not be what you are looking for, these agents can potentially keep you updated on other listings in their books that may be of interest. 

These agents can also keep you informed about the listing status of the property at hand, including letting you know when it sells or advising you of when to make an offer. 

In any case, properties can look very different in real life to how they appear in print or online.   Physically visiting a property before you purchase it will allow you to get a good feel for it, and to see whether or not you can envisage yourself living there. 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 21/03/2011 at 10:20 AM | Categories: Buying - First Home Buyers -

Housing supply remains an issue

The issue of housing supply is contentious at the best of times.  It is not unusual for seemingly conflicting data and reports to be released almost concurrently – sometimes we are told that there is too much stock on the market and people aren’t buying, at other times it is that there are not enough homes and prices are skyrocketing. 

It is important to understand that the residential property market has both a short term and long term outlook, both of which can be affected by different factors.  Interest rate rises, for example, often act to cool the market a little bit, as prospective buyers absorb the prospect of an increased mortgage rate and wait to see the general impact of the news on the market.  Hence, we often see periods of reduced auction clearance rates, even when supply is thought to be a larger issue. 

The concept of Australia’s supply issue therefore, is something which must be considered both in today’s terms, as well as in the context of Australia’s future population and accommodation needs.  

An article appeared in the Australian Financial Review on January 28, entitled ‘Housing supply plans suffer’.  I found that the article highlighted some very interesting points regarding Australia’s housing supply and affordability issues and so I thought I would draw your attention to it. 

The most concerning aspect raised by the article was its discussion of the Australian Government – questioning Labor’s commitment to tackle worsening home affordability.  As shelter is one of the most important needs of individuals and families, it is problematic to be facing a housing supply shortage while having a government who are not instigating the necessary reforms so that a reversal in the situation can be achieved. 

The article refers to concerns regarding the future of the National Housing Supply Council, created after the Labor party came into power in 2007.  The Council has produced two annual State of Supply reports, which so far forecast that Australia’s national housing shortfall will exceed 300,000 by 2014 – quite an alarming figure. 

With the appointments of its nine committee members having lapsed midway through last year (except for its Chair), combined with a restructure of governmental responsibilities, the Council’s work has been understandably affected.  The article quotes Population Minister Tony Bourke as saying that the Gillard Government is committed to continuing the council’s work, however it is of concern that new members have not yet been appointed. 

It remains to be seen what the fate of the Council will be.  Having said that, I think that it is imperative for such an organisation to exist, if only to shed light on a situation that will continue to of concern.  It has once again become seen that the Government may need some policy emphasis with regards to housing – or the shortage numbers that are already evident will continue to grow. 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 14/02/2011 at 12:27 PM | Categories: First Home Buyers - State of the Market -

Tips for First-Home Buyers

So you have decided to take the plunge and purchase your first property – congratulations! In my view, owning your own home is one of the most significant and satisfying purchases you will ever make.  Although the initial outlay may seem like a lot, by paying off a mortgage each month you are actually building equity and essentially setting yourself up for the rest of your life. 

The first step to buying your first property is to save the money for a deposit.  Depending on your current spending patterns, this could be quite an easy or difficult task.  There are countless tips on how to cut back on your expenditure, including creating a budget, using cash instead of credit and paying off your credit card in full each month to avoid interest charges, however you will often find that what is really required is actually an attitude change. 

Simply reminding yourself of your end goal every time you find yourself tempted to make an unnecessary purchase can do wonders for your savings.  For example, instead of purchasing that new dress or piece of electronic equipment, imagine that property waiting for you.

To make saving that little bit easier, first home buyers should try to do as much research as possible regarding the various government tax initiatives available.  These may involve grants as the property is your first, or incentives for buying off the plan.  Each state will have different information available.   

When buying a property it is essential to be aware of all the costs involved beyond the property itself.  There are usually legal fees, home loan application fees and stamp duty costs that must be paid and thus factored into your budget.  Be aware that these costs may have an impact on the amount you can afford to spend on the actual property. 

When you finally find the ideal property for you, make sure you have the relevant inspections conducted prior to bidding at auction or making an offer privately.  Believe me, even if you think that the property is perfect now, this view may change two or three years down the track when you become aware of a significant flaw that requires fixing at considerable expense.  If anything, having a property and/or pest inspection will give you peace of mind and if there is a fault it may allow you to negotiate a lower sale price. 

When it comes to purchasing the property, you can either make an offer privately or bid at auction.  In both cases, try to find out as much as you can about the property and try not to get involved in bidding wars where you end up paying way beyond the property’s value (yes, these can sometimes occur in the private sale process as well as at auctions).  Remember, there will always be another property to buy. 

Although the process of buying your first home can sometimes prove to be a stressful time, try to enjoy it.  You have worked hard and may have sacrificed much to save the money to get to this point - you should be very proud of your new purchase.   

 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 26/10/2010 at 10:50 AM | Categories: First Home Buyers -