Is a better property always just around the corner?
I had an interesting conversation over the holidays with a couple who had been in the marketplace for around 6 months and they’d become quite dejected about their prospects of finding that “right place” again, as they’d missed one very late last year that was in their words “about 85% right” for their needs, but they let it go as they thought that there’d be another one just like it come up almost straight away – and they haven’t come even close so.
It started me thinking, and it seems to be a bit of a metaphor for life these days – that if something’s not 100% perfect, we reject it and we try to find that perfection somewhere else, when with a little work on our behalf we can make it perfect for us – is it an illusion that there is more than one right house for someone at the time, or that if you miss this one, another one will pop up almost immediately?
Whether it’s a home or life in general, it’s what you make it, and the quest for perfection will exhaust you and end up being more costly in the near term.
In the 30+ years I’ve been in business, I’ve had a lot of clients come to me with a list of features they want in a property that, at the time, are their “must-haves”, and the property they end up purchasing has most likely only around half of these features, and sometimes can be vastly different to the original list.
One of the big lessons they learn early on is that when presented with a house which meets virtually all their criteria, it might be out of their budget, and sometimes they need to stretch just that little further to achieve it.
Everyone’s definition of perfection is different, and while it’s human nature to want more than we can afford, it’s also important to make good decisions about which features you can and can’t live without, particularly in a quickly rising market such as Melbourne and Sydney have experienced over the past 3 years because time is not our friend in this environment. The longer you wait to find the “perfect home”, the more the price for it will rise.
We all have set criteria for the type and internal composition of their next property, whether they’re going to purchase an apartment or a house, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms they want, the kind of kitchen, the flow of rooms, whether they’re prepared to do work on the property or not and whether features such as a garage, a full laundry, large garden, or pool are essential or simply nice to have.
As your buyer’s advocate, my role is to find the best property for you within (or under) budget, tick the boxes on your non-negotiables, and bring you a shortlist of properties with as many other “wishlist” features as we can manage. However, the thing I’m most conscious of is the preservation of my clients’ capital. I’m always aware that at some point in the future, they’re most likely going to want to resell the property so we need as much on our side at that time as we can manage.
Features that should be considered as most important in any property are privacy, good natural light, street appeal (both the house or apartment and the overall streetscape), walkability and storage. Each of these additional items will enhance the desirability of the house and therefore its future sale potential, the downside is that these homes will be heavily competed for, so you might have to extend yourself in terms of your bidding range to secure it in the first place, in the knowledge that further down the line, the property will have a much greater market appeal when you go to sell it.