We’ve all heard the real estate adage ‘location location location’ but when it comes to buying or selling a property, how can we be sure we’re getting a good deal? Is ‘Location’ Everything When It Comes To Property?
If, like me, you’ve binged on TV property shows, buying or selling a property can seem a lot easier than it actually is – particularly since they have experts acting on their behalf.
But once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll can be more confident in navigating the property market.
Here are the top 5 factors that go into determining property value:
When we’re buying a place to live, we tend to focus our search on places that have meaning or value to us. Perhaps it’s familiar territory, or family or friends live there, or it suits our needs with close access to amenities like good schools, parks, and public transport. Or maybe we’ve just always dreamt of living there.
Another thing to consider is the perception of the area you’ve chosen. You’re actually buying into an area – not just the bricks and mortar. It sounds shallow but it’s worth thinking about for resale purposes. Without doubt, there are areas that are deemed “good” locations, and this will be reflected in the price. The higher the status of the area you choose, the more it’ll cost you.
Whether status matters to you or not, it’s undeniable that society’s perception of the location will impact you when it comes to reselling down the track. But it’s also worth remembering that perceptions change over time, albeit slowly; public transport, infrastructure, facilities might well improve. So check with the local council for any plans for the area.
Historical sales prices
You can usually find the sold prices on property websites. These are a good guide to what you can expect for the house you’re selling or wanting to buy. This is one of the main sources of information for appraisers when they’re considering the value of a property
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Current market trends
You’ve probably heard of the terms “buyer’s market” and “sellers’ market”. If there are too many homes on the market, then buyers have lots of choice. As a general rule, this drives prices down. Again, the opposite is true – not enough houses, people want to buy, demand drives prices up.
If you have the luxury of time and aren’t in a hurry to buy or sell, keep up to date with the status of the market by reading property analysis in reputable media.
Size does matter!
Buy with a view to the longer term – if you’re a couple considering a one bedroom apartment, consider what you’ll do if you decide to start a family. Once that happens, most people find themselves in a quandary – stay, or move into a bigger space? And with the sizeable costs of stamp duty and moving, for example, it makes sense to make a considered purchase in the first place.
If you’re selling, think about the layout of your home. Generally the number of bedrooms is considered highly, so think about whether you can convert an additional room that’s a study or sunroom back into a bedroom.
Age and Condition
When you’re buying, check the age of the house. Aside from old appliances, old houses can hide a multitude of problems – a leaky roof, asbestos, electrical wiring, structure, plumbing. These aren’t necessarily obvious which is why it’s critical to get good independent reports before you buy.
If you’re selling, there’s nothing you can do about the age of the house. But you can make sure the look of your property is in good condition and up to scratch visually – refresh the garden beds, repair and/or paint the outside, especially window sills.
The appearance of the neighbourhood also plays a role. The general look of surrounding houses, upkeep of gardens, fences, and trees, cleanliness of streets – it all adds (or detracts!) from the value of your property. Neglect is not attractive! Let your neighbours know you plan to sell so they can smarten up their own place – the sale price of your house will determine property value for them when it’s their turn to sell.
So what factors detract from the value?
If you’re selling, there’s nothing you can do about the location or age of your property. But you can definitely make sure it’s in the best possible condition, well-repaired, well-maintained throughout. When specialists are conducting appraisals, these factors will play a huge role in determining the property value – and what people are prepared to pay.