The Advertiser - Real Estate

Editor’s Note

- TOM BOWDEN REAL ESTATE EDITOR

Most weeks I have this column largely nutted out in my head by the time I sit down to write it. On the ride into work I’ve carefully constructe­d it in my mind – literally arranging sentence after sentence – picking a topical issue or a personal event in my life and finding a way to relate it to the property market, always signing off with a cheerful “happy househunti­ng!”.

This morning I’m not so prepared. Instead of planning my column on the scoot in, I sang along to Bon Jovi’s These Days album. A classic and probably the band’s best.

So I’m a little underprepa­red … Truth is, I’m flying blind here. I literally have no idea where this column is going. I’m just sitting, typing words into the computer and hoping for the best. It’s equal parts terrifying and liberating. This could either go well, or it could be a jaw-droppingly epic display of fail that brings (further) shame on my family.

It’s certainly not the approach you want to take when looking to buy your first home. No purchase costing hundreds of thousands of dollars should be done on a whim. If you were to buy a new car, a television, a fridge, or book an overseas holiday, you’d do your research first. You’d make sure that what you were paying for was exactly what you wanted, was going to meet your needs and that you were getting it at a competitiv­e price. Money’s too tight for most people to not put in the effort to get the best deal. It doesn’t make sense then to not pour even more time and effort into researchin­g a purchase that’s going to cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Especially not for those hoping to buy a new place before the end of the year – the clock is well and truly ticking on this front.

This is a house – either you or your tenant is going to be living here, so it needs to be a financiall­y sound decision you’ve thought through and are confident in. If you’re looking at buying and not attending as many open inspection­s as you can, picking the brains of the real estate experts in that area or even getting a house inspection on a property you’ve fallen in love with, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

At the end of the day, I can get away with winging this column because it’s only a column. If it doesn’t come off, I’ll have to live with the embarrassm­ent. Make the wrong decision on a house you’ve bought after failing to put in the work, on the other hand, and the ramificati­ons could be far greater. Happy househunti­ng!

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