Create a list of your requirements to start your search with a clear idea of what you are looking for. Search for properties online, in print and by contacting local real estate agencies. Make a shortlist of properties that meet these requirements and fall within your price range.
Take the time to consider things such as proximity to schools, transport and local amenities. As you are likely to be living in your new home for many years to come, it's essential to consider the long-term as well as the short-term.
Don't wait for agents to call you
In some cases, a property that meets your requirements may not yet be online. Taking the initiative to contact agents can mean the difference between being the first or last buyer to step through the door of your dream house.
If an agency has no listings advertised that meet your needs, put in an enquiry and let them know what you are looking for. Often, they will know of upcoming properties that are coming onto the market and will have access to a wider range of listings.
If you are planning on purchasing a home, then it is vital that you are aware of any problems it may have. Before making an offer on a property, arrange for a trusted professional to complete a building and pest inspection. Depending on its findings, obtaining a property inspection report can allow you to negotiate the price down.
Know your limits
When purchasing a property it's important to buy with your head, not your heart. While your heart will draw you into a property, always keep your budget in mind and don't purchase something that you can't afford. Be prepared to compromise on the things that you want, but do not necessarily need.
Ask questions so that you can get to know the property as much as possible. When determining whether a house is right for you, having as much information as possible allows you to make well-informed decisions. Ask questions such as “Why is the owner selling?”, “How long has the house been on the market for?” and “Are there any problems with this house that I should know of?”.
When buying a home, time is something that is often lacking. In particular, if a property is in a well-sought after area at the right price, then it is unlikely to stay on the market for long. If you spend too long making a final decision, you may just find that the right house is purchased by someone else.
Keep an open mind and consider other properties
Buying a home can lead to frustration when you can't find your dream home or if someone else buys it before you. It is important to keep an open mind and consider other properties that may also satisfy your needs. At times you will need to be able to compromise on certain things and widen your search.