STRESSED OUT

Tips for up­tight buy­ers

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - PETER FARAGO

VIC­TO­RIAN home­buy­ers are the na­tion’s most stressed out, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

Fac­ing ris­ing prices and an in­creas­ing num­ber of homes sold though auc­tion, more Vic­to­rian home­buy­ers re­port feel­ing emo­tion­ally over­whelmed by the home­buy­ing process .

The West­pac Home Own­er­ship Re­port also found two-thirds of Vic­to­rian home­buy­ers did not know the dif­fer­ence be­tween a fixed and vari­able-rate home loan, worse than the other states, and were the least likely to understand eq­uity and how to use it.

De­spite their con­cerns, an es­ti­mated 1.3 mil­lion Aus­tralians in­tended to buy or build a home next year, the re­port found.

West­pac head of home own­er­ship Nathan McMullen said many home­buy­ers had not con­ducted com­pre­hen­sive re­search and re­mained un­clear about a num­ber of as­pects of the home buy­ing process.

That lack of un­der­stand­ing or prepa­ra­tion com­pounded the stresses on buy­ers as sell­ers headed to auc­tion in record num­bers this year.

And the heat of com­pe­ti­tion at auc­tions was lead­ing to more buy­ers feel­ing over­whelmed, Mr McMullen said.

“We’ve seen a rel­a­tive in­crease in prop­er­ties be­ing sold by auc­tion in Vic­to­ria rel­a­tive to other states,” Mr McMullen said.

“The in­creas­ing trend in auc­tions adds to the stress.”

McMullen said Vic­to­ri­ans also had to dig deeper into their pock­ets, with higher stamp duty bills and less gen­er­ous gov­ern­ment grants.

Ray White, Brunswick, auc­tion­eer Jamil Al­louche said low con­fi­dence could be one of the most sig­nif­i­cant in­hibitors for peo­ple when pur­chas­ing property .

“Many peo­ple I speak with are of­ten over­whelmed with the home buy­ing process, and it’s of­ten around not know­ing what price they should be pay­ing for a property,” Mr Al­louche said.

“The ad­vice I give to them is to en­sure they do their home­work and have a pro­fes­sional on side, whether it’s an agent or their lo­cal banks, and to go to as many open homes has they can.”

The West­pac re­port found more than four in five buy­ers be­lieved get­ting the right ad­vice and guidance was crit­i­cal.

How­ever a third said they didn’t know where to start.

Mr Al­louche said buy­ers’ ad­vo­cates were an op­tion, but real es­tate agents could also help with the process.

“We’ve helped clients where we’ve gone and bid for them, or where we’ve gone and bought a property for them, with a nom­i­na­tion clause,” he said.

Mr Al­louche said it took about three months to get a full pic­ture of a lo­cal mar­ket.

But the only tools a buyer needed were are a note­book and pen.

“Go out and buy a book and for each ad­dress they go and see, write the ad­dress, how many bed­rooms, how big the block was, what the price guide was and what it sold for,” Mr Al­louche sug­gested.

“It al­lows them to cre­ate that data on their own that gives them an idea of which agents un­der­quote and where they should put their en­er­gies.”

Mr McMullen said buy­ers could never have too much in­for­ma­tion to help them.

“Speak­ing with a home fi­nance man­ager is a good first step to as­sist with as­sess­ing the costs of buy­ing a home and what you may be able to af­ford,” he said.

“This can help you set out a re­al­is­tic bud­get to save for the de­posit and start plan­ning for home loan re­pay­ments.”

Mr McMullen said buy­ers needed to con­sider the cost to buy, what size de­posit was needed and whether they could af­ford the cost of re­pay­ments.

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