The Brisbane Courier Mail was abuzz this weekend with stories of soaring property prices. The Charter Conveyancing phones have been ringing hot recently and that usually means the property market is running hot too.
I've shared my thoughts on Brisbane property news before and tried to present a balanced argument. But some newspaper articles may be less balanced and what you read can vary wildly from paper to paper, writer to writer and week to week.
The recent Courier Mail story was about homes that are selling well above reserve price at auction. One property even sold for more than $100,000 over the reserve price. That must have been an exciting auction to watch and I'm sure the real estate agent and the owners were thrilled with the result.
But buying at auction can be less exciting for buyers. In an auction situation the pressure is on; even bystanders can feel it. But whether you buy by auction or private offer, buying property can create stress.
Buying property is particularly stressful if you feel pressured to buy because you think the property market is going up and if you don't buy now you'll never be able to.
So let's look at how buyers can keep cool in a hot property market.
1. Don't feel pressured
Even if the property market is booming it is likely to slow down at some time. It's far better to wait until a house you love comes up or a house you can really afford, than to buy something a bit too pricey or not quite what you were looking for.
If you're feeling the pressure and you really do want to buy now but find houses are moving to fast, consider buying in another area. Having to drive an extra ten minutes to work may turn out to be easier than paying a mortgage you can't afford.
2. Keep saving
Just because you can't find a property you can afford right now doesn't mean that will always be the case. No one knows if property prices will go up or down over the next five years.
But just because you can't find a property you can afford right now doesn't mean you should give up. Be patient and keep saving.
The more deposit you have to pay, the better positioned you'll be when the right property does come up, and the lower your future mortgage repayments will be.
If you're feeling the pressure because of low interest rates consider other investments for your savings. Or consider the likelihood that when interest rates do go up, property prices will get lower.
3. Make friends with real estate agents
Properties that you think have sold often come back on the market. Sales fall through more often than you'd think. Most commonly because the buyer can't get a mortgage.
Properties that were outside your budget but have been on the market for a long time may suddenly be offered for less. Buyers situations can change and a property that was outside your budget may suddenly fall within it.
In these cases you must rely on the agent calling you. So make friends with real estate agents who work well in the areas you want to buy. Email selected agents explaining your preferences. Go to meet them at open home and keep in touch with them by phone.
Read How to Choose a Real Estate Agent When Selling Property as there are some ideas there that will help you as a buyer too.
If a sale falls through or a property price is reduced you want to make sure those real estate agents think of you. Then when the call comes you'll be glad you waited patiently for the right property.
So even if the property market seems to be running hot as a buyer you need to stay cool. That way you can buy with confidence when the time is right and you're less likely to get burnt.
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