Doing your homework before buying will certainly pay dividends
Ensure your finance is in place
The bank’s lending criteria is much more stringent than it has been in the past, so Brokers seem to be able to get you the best deal, as they will be able to offer you more choice. Knowing this knowledge up-front ensures that you are only viewing properties that are in your price-range, and it will put you in a strong position when making your offer. When organizing finance, make sure you allow for all extra legal costs involved i.e: Stamp duty, Conveyancing etc.
Construct a practical wish list
Try to stick to a property that meets your price range and has positive qualities that are important to you, i.e. whether it has special features, is close to schools or parks or is in a friendly neighborhood. This will help to assure a long-term positive outlook on your purchase
Drive the area
Check out local schools, transport, shopping-centres etc. Visit the local council’s websites regarding any proposed re-developments or re-zoning in the area which may impact on the value of your property, good or bad.
Research, research, research
Search all available information on the recent sales in the area. This will help you obtain a clear view on how much the property is worth, and will give you an idea on how much you are prepared to pay for it.
For investment property purchase
Consider your long and short-term goals, and ultimately the return you will get on your investment (it is always wise to get sound professional financial advice so that you are clear on risk versus expectation). Identify your target-market, and consider the locality and local amenities on offer, and the pros and cons of purchasing an apartment versus a house or duplex. Try to keep your business-head in place, and not let your heart rule your head!