As you can barely contain your excitement, you go online and shortlist a few houses you’d like to try in different locations around Melbourne. You and your spouse have been saving like crazy for this. Now you have to decide on which houses to visit, when to make an offer and how much. Here are a few ideas to help you make a decision.
How do you know if you like the house?
When you enter a house, you must feel something. Does the house have a happy vibe, or did you feel something like dread or loneliness as soon as the agent opened the door? Don’t ignore your initial impression. Chances are, your original impression and feelings will last long after that first look.
Is the location good for you?
Location plays a big role in your decision. You can change things around the house in the future, but you can’t move it to a different location. Some houses are in locations you can’t complain about, such as house and land packages in Taylors Hill. Some are in less desirable places — beware of such places. If you can, do an online search of the crime rate in a place you’re interested in, just to have an idea. When you visit the area, look around. Do the houses around look safe and cared for? Do the neighbours seem nice enough? Better to spend more on a house in a gated community than a lot less on one that seems located in a warzone. Check the distance to basic services and amenities like schools, market, parks, medical facilities, etc. Consider the travel to your jobs too.
However you feel about a house, always go back to your calculator to see if you can truly afford it. You’ll spend years paying for it; can you pay the dues every month without sacrificing all of your income? If you can afford the house, love it and picture yourself living in it, take a deep breath and sleep on it. Make an offer the next day or two if you still feel the same about it, then start thinking about décor.