If I Knew Then...

When I stop and reflect, I realise that I have indeed been in the real estate industry for a very long time, and my first step into investing in property is something that seems very long ago. Maybe it actually was...and like everything in life, hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have done things a little differently and as a result, here are my first property purchase notes to my twenty year old self, which might prove handy for others considering entering the property game.



Take emotion out of it. This is a very hard ask, and one that’s actually not just applicable to first homes. People get attached to properties in a very short period of time, even if they already own or have owned several properties, and that’s understandable. When you’re searching for weeks through homes that at times you just find appalling, when you finally come across one that ticks all your property boxes, it is very easy to immediately fall in love with it, become instantly and aggressively competitive with everyone else at the home open, and be prepared to stop at nothing to make it yours. This is not very wise and can lead to some bigger issues, and this leads me to my next couple of points. 


Stick to your budget. No-one begins to house hunt with an unlimited budget. Okay, maybe some people have the kind of wealth to be able to do that, but I like to pretend they don’t exist for my own sanity. It’s fine to give yourself a little bit of flexibility in your budget if you know you could stretch it if you really, really found the house of your dreams, but there absolutely has to be a ceiling, and you absolutely have to be prepared to walk away if an asking price won’t match or go below that. It will most definitely be of benefit to you in the long run. 


Don’t get carried away. I read a wonderful quote recently – don’t rush the monkey and you’ll get a better show. Not that I am referring to anyone involved with a property purchase decision as a monkey, of course (although in my time I have come across a few that haven’t been far off…) but it rings true for many things in life. If you do decide you’ve found a property you’re interested in buying, don’t rush the process. Give yourself the cooling off time you need to be sure this is the one you’re prepared to put all your hard earned cash into – for possibly the next 30 years of your life according to many a mortgage document. Go and see it again, get the relevant checks done so the roof doesn’t collapse around you the day after you move in, and allow yourself time to negotiate the best price. 


Most of this seems like common sense now, but when you’re caught up in your first property whirlwind, the simple things can sometimes be forgotten. I only wish I could say the Paul Mylott of today is as wise in other areas as I am in this one. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been talked into that second bottle of red last night…
Posted by Charles Tarbey on 10/03/2009 at 8:54 AM | Categories:


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