Any ‘Block’ lovers will be well versed with Nicole Jacobs. Nicole is a professional buyer’s advocate with over 15 years real estate experience, and has previously appeared Channel Nine’s, ‘The Block Triple Threat.’ Here, Nicole gives us fabulous dream home tips to ensure you buy a great property, layout, finishes and of course, a home that’s going to be have good return on investment. Here’s Nicole’s essential dream home tips….
1. Get Your Position Right
“This is not just the suburb, it’s the location within the suburb, the facing of the block (e.g. north facing rear yard), even down to the streets within the suburb that appeal to you. For example, maybe it’s a street where there are no apartments, or only single dwelling covenants, retaining the street scape and ultimately the value of the homes within it. Or, maybe it’s the distance to the shops, parks, beach or transport.”
2. Decide On A Style
“If you have decided to buy a home to renovate or one that ticks all those boxes then know which style is your favoured period. If you want a period home, don’t waste your time looking at modern homes. If you only like Edwardian then leave the Californian Bungalows off the Saturday inspection list!”
3. Analyse The Floor plan
“A logical floor plan makes it easier for you to see the homes full potential and where renovations if required could be made. We call it ‘good bones’. A house with ‘Good Bones’ means you are half way there if renovating.”
4. Write A Tick List
“A dream home means just that, so go for it! Write down everything you want. This process is best done with your partner if buying with someone else and may even involve kids, so be open with each other. You may realise what you thought was your wish list actually isn’t when everyone talks about it.”
5. Make A Plan
“Sometimes we need to make decisions quickly, but if you don’t, then take your time. Most people start thinking about their dream home later in life and so my advice is to plan and then execute that plan taking the time needed to make sure it is the most advantageous to you.
Priorities change so a dream home in your 20’s, or 30’s may be very different in your 40’s or 50’s. If you plan and execute your strategy each time you will be able to move to the ‘next level’ or next dream home with ease. You make your money when you buy so buy well each time.”
6. Do Your Research & Buy Well
“Know your market, know what other similar homes have been selling for, know whether there are planning applications for the house next door potentially blocking the view of the ocean or sunlight into a room. The council is a great place to start for this. Get to know the selling agents and get as much information out of them as possible. Why are the vendors selling? Have they bought somewhere else? Do not disclose at any time your top price. Keep your budget private.
Knock on the neighbour’s doors – neighbours are GOLD. Often they can tell you more about the house, the street and the circumstances of the sale over and above anybody else.”
7. Pre-purchase Building Inspections
“Every one of my clients knows that I will not let them buy a property without getting the building looked over. Even if the building is new and covered by the seven year housing guarantee fund insurance, you need to know what you are buying. Pre-purchase electrical and plumbing inspections along with pest and termite inspections, which are also key to knowing what state the property is in. Buying well and then finding out it needs a new roof or to be completely re-wired and re-stumped is a very costly mistake and one that can be crossed off the list very quickly prior to purchasing.”
8. Sort Your Finances Out
“Having your finance approved BEFORE you start looking is also critical. You may find a property very early on in your search and you want to be able to move fast to secure it. Making an offer ‘subject to finance’ is never ideal. If two parties are offering the same amount and yours is ‘subject to finance’ the vendor will choose the other parties offer over yours every time.”
9. Know The Difference Between Private Sale & Pre Auction
“An offer made with no conditions (an unconditional offer) is a very strong offer. Make your offer in writing with a cheque for the 10% deposit. A timeframe for the offer to expire is also wise as this creates urgency for a decision and allows you to keep looking if the offer is rejected.”
10. Understand Auctions
“It’s not always the bidders with the deepest pockets that win at auction. All auctions are unique so try and get out to see as many in the area as possible. If a particular agent is auctioning the property you want, go and watch their auctions to know their style. Bid! Don’t wait for the property to pass in and hope to negotiate afterwards. If it is going to pass in, let it be to you. You then have the right to hear the vendor’s reserve and will be given a good 15 minutes to decide whether the reserve is reasonable or to start negotiating. Not bidding leaves it a behind doors auction where you will never know who you are bidding against, if there is anyone else at all!
Above all, know that if you are not successful in securing a particular property whether it be pre-auction, at auction, post auction, expression of interest campaign or private sale (there are so many ways to buy!), then it probably wasn’t meant to be. If you have planned and know your market and have your plan for purchasing (including your finance approval), then you are ahead of most people out there looking.
That perfect home that dream home will present itself so be patient and follow your plan.”