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When is the best time to buy property?

March 8, 2024

Buying property can be pretty nerve wracking. You’ve worked hard, saved your deposit and may even have a Pinterest account for dream home inspo. But how do you know when it’s the right time (for you) to buy? To make sure you’re good to go, here’s some things to think about before leaping onto the property ladder.

Finances are sorted

This is more than just having a deposit saved. If you’re at the point where you’re seriously looking to buy, be sure you know:

And don’t forget to budget for those extras like stamp duty, conveyancing and inspection fees. 

Reliable income

To repay the loan, you need a regular income, whether from employment or other streams, like a superannuation pension. 

With employment, while no job is 100% safe, working in a job that’s stable means you could be able to pay off your loan, enjoy your life and settle into the swing of your new home. 

Healthy credit score

If you’ve ever applied for finance, you’ve got a credit report. It’s one of the factors credit providers use when looking at applications for finance products like loans and credit cards. 

For a free copy of your credit report, download a credit app or contact any of the following:

  • Equifax – or call 13 83 32
  • Illion – or call 13 23 33
  • Experian – or call 1300 783 684
  • Tasmanian Collection Service – or call 03 6213 5555.

(If your report is incorrect, check the government’s Moneysmart website for tips on how to fix it.)

Explore our page on credit history to learn more.

You know where you want to live

Be sure to narrow down your search. Go too broad and you could end up with decision-fatigue: 

  • Jump online – look at real estate listings, public transport options, shops and schools.
  • Talk to local real estate agents – is your dream home in the area you want to live? Or do you need to rethink expectations?
  • Visit the area – chat to locals, check out local services, get a feel for the place. Make sure it’s the right fit.   

Realistic expectations 

Whether you’re building your forever home, prefer an established place or just want to make that leap onto the property ladder, you have to get real.

Sit down and make a list of your ‘must have’s’ and ‘nice to haves’. Create a shared spreadsheet in the Cloud that you can access on the fly. Understand that unless you are very, very lucky, you won’t get everything you want.

And if you have a partner, be prepared to negotiate!

Be prepared to walk

Falling in love with something out of your reach can be a heartbreaker. Get practical. 

Does it have the actual bones you need to make it all yours? Don’t be dazzled by talk of seller’s markets, solid timber flooring or modern colour palettes. All this you can insert later. Be prepared to smile politely, walk away and not look back.

Auctions, bidding and negotiating

A little research can go a long way towards increasing your confidence. 

Auction top 3:

  1. Go to other auctions – get a feel for what happens 
  2. Be prepared – have your home loan pre-approved
  3. Stand at the back so you can read the room 

Private sale top 3:

  1. Get building and pest inspections done early
  2. Be flexible with settlement
  3. If you make an offer that the agent refuses, get the owner’s refusal in writing

Does seasonality matter?

Australia’s a big country, and many areas experience distinct seasons. Like the wet and dry seasons in our northern states.

But in the more temperate zones, or larger capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne, seasonal rules can vary greatly. 

Do your own research or talk to local estate agents to find out what seasonal effects are at play. 

Generally speaking:

  • Spring – Demand increases for properties at this time of year, likewise prices. Remember your budget! 
  • Summer – Typically a lot of properties around, though prices remain on the high side in all that dazzling sunshine.  
  • Autumn – There may not be many properties around while vendors wait for spring. You could grab a bargain!
  • Winter – Typically known as the slower months (and a buyer’s market!) in real estate terms. 

Banking and lending in Australia has changed 

Whether you’re still saving for a deposit or seeking home loan pre-approval, choosing a bank you’re happy with is important. You might just want a bank whose values align with your own.  

From investing in individuals and projects that do good for the world to becoming Australia’s first customer-owned bank, Bank Australia takes responsible lending to the next level.

Bank Australia is all about making a difference. For you and the world you live in.

Keen to learn more? 

Explore the range of Bank Australia home loans or read about who can help you when buying, and explore more tips for buying a home in our hub.

Home buying help in human terms

Answers to the big questions on how to make the right choices for you.

Read more

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