Preparing to buy an apartment in Australia? Welcome to your definitive guide to purchasing an apartment in Australia from saving for a deposit to finding the perfect apartment and going through the auction and settlement process.
Whether this is your first apartment or you’re a seasoned investor it’s important to keep your wits about you when you’re making such a significant purchase. For first time buyers looking to buy an apartment to live in themselves, it can be a stressful but ultimately exciting process and one that is well worth it for the reward at the end: a home.
Saving For Your Deposit
- Create A Budget
No matter what you’re trying to save up for, the key to saving for anything is budgeting. There are plenty of tips, tricks and ‘hacks’ out there but, realistically, the best way to save a large amount of money in a short period of time is to create a budget and stick to it.
If you’ve never created a proper budget before, it’s important to begin by calculating your average expenses for a month and sorting them into categories: food, rent, bills, transportation, entertainment and then, of course, a miscellaneous category for all those things you end up buying and you don’t really know why (ALDI, we’re looking at you!). Once you’ve got an idea of how much you’re actually spending and where you’re spending it, you’ll be able to identify the areas where you can afford to cut back on spending.
- Cut Back
If you’ve got an idea of how much you’re spending and a rough idea of how much you need to save for a deposit, you’ll have to actually start cutting back. There are some unavoidable expenses that will always be there no matter what but there are also a few areas in which you can afford to be frugal. Remember that you’re saving to buy an apartment, that’s something major and dream worthy so it’s worth a little short-term pain. What does this short term pain look like? Fewer meals out, catching public transport as opposed to ride shares, less treating yourself. You may even have to consider selling some big ticket items like a television, expensive clothing, electronics you no longer need or if you and your partner have more than one car perhaps you can sell one!
- Talk To A Professional About A Loan
If this is your first foray into the property market, it’s important to make sure you talk to a professional. A skilled financial advisor, property investor or professional will be able to consult with you about the things you need to know before you jump into the market head first. It’s also important to talk to your financial institution to get an idea of how much you’ll need to borrow and what your mortgage will look like.
A mortgage is something that you’ll be paying off over a long period of time, so you need to ask as many questions as possible before you agree to sign a loan. Online mortgage calculators can also help you to figure out how much you’ll be able to borrow so you can get a sense of what you need to save before you sign your mortgage agreement, to check out an online tool – click here.
Finding A Place To Call Home
Lifestyle & Location
In major Australian cities, real estate prices have gone absolutely through the roof (pun intended) which means it can be hard to find an apartment that meets your needs in an area that would suit your lifestyle.
If you’re new to a city and you don’t know what area will suit your needs best it’s important to do your research before you buy or even sign a lease. The cardinal rule of real estate has always been location, location, location and, if you ask us, where your apartment is located is far more important than the internal specs. Ask yourself what sort of life you can envision for yourself over the next few years. Will this be where you live while you’re studying, while you’re in the nitty-gritty of your career or will this be where you start your family? Don’t get distracted by open plan living spaces or modern appliances, the most important question you have to ask yourself is: does this feel like a home, can you see yourself making a life here? When you find a place that ticks those two boxes – you’ve found “The One”.
If you still need help figuring out how your vision for the next part of your life translates to a specific suburb, keep answering these questions about the things that are important to your lifestyle? Do you want to be able to walk into work every day or do you not care about the commute as long as there’s good public transport options? Do you want to live near friends or family? Do you need to be in the heart of the action, near all the coolest bars and restaurants? Are public school catchment zones something you need to consider? Do you want to be in the heart of the city or close to nature? Walking distance to the beach so you can surf every day? Once you’ve answered all these questions you’ll find there are probably only a couple of suburbs which hit that sweet spot for you. If you’re interested in doing more research, check out this website for suburb guides.
The Ins and Out of Apartment Auctions
Even once you’ve found the perfect apartment, you’ll find that the journey doesn’t stop there because you now need to get into the nitty gritty of actually purchasing the apartment. Some will go to auction or some can be sold off market with a decent offer that meets the asking price. Once you’ve negotiated the actual purchase price you then move into the world of settlement. On the part of the buyer this means (surprise, surprise!) a whole lot more paperwork and a whole lot more cash to be forked over. During this 30 day period the property is transferred into your name and you have to organise stamp duty and insurance. For more information on the settlement process, check out this government resource.
The very last thing you need to remember is to have fun. Make sure you take a minute to look around and create memories during this exciting period of your life.