Buying your dream home – at any lifestage
Spring is the busiest time for the residential property market. A surge of homes go on the market after the cooler and quieter winter months.
Whether you are looking to buy your first home, upgrade to a house from a unit or downsize for retirement it is important to identify the lifestyle factors when planning to purchase a property.
If you’re a first home buyer looking to enter the property market, price will likely be the main consideration. So you may need to steer clear of expensive inner-city locations in favour of suburbs or regional areas.
But as your first property is likely to be a long-term investment, you’ll want to make sure it has the potential to increase in value – so it’s worth doing some research around up-and-coming neighborhoods in the area.
To avoid straining your budget, be wary of ‘fixer-uppers’ that may require hefty spending on repairs and maintenance down the track. But at the same time, think about how you can add value to the property when you eventually sell. Even a small renovation could give a big boost to your sale price.
The good news for first home buyers is that the government is proposing to offer a helping hand. If the First Home Super Save Scheme is legislated, you’ll be able to access up to $30,000 of your pre-tax super contributions (plus earnings) and put this amount towards a deposit.
As your lifestyle and family dynamics change your housing needs may change also. If you have a growing family or pets you might be in the market for a larger property with more living areas and outdoor space.
As the housing affordability crisis continues in Australia you may have to consider a more affordable neighborhood if it means you can buy a larger and more suitable home for your growing families needs.
Other geographic considerations may include easy access to schools, parks and public transport. You may also want to be within a comfortable distance of your parents or other relatives.
If you don’t have a family and you’re not planning to start one, a change of address could allow you to enjoy the type of lifestyle you love. For example, you might take the opportunity to move to a vibrant neighbourhood with plenty of restaurants, cafes and recreational facilities nearby.
Working from home? You’ll probably want a peaceful location with enough space for your home office.
Once the kids have flown the coop, you might think about selling the family home and moving somewhere cosier. And as you settle into retirement, you may prefer to be surrounded by a community of people your own age who enjoy similar hobbies and activities.
Chances are you won’t want to move again any time soon, so you’ll need to consider how your needs may change in the future. As you become less active, you’ll want a home and neighbourhood that are both easy to get around. It’s also worth ensuring you’ll have easy access to medical facilities and government services.
If you’re looking to downsize, you may be able to use it as an opportunity to boost your nest egg. A new government proposal will allow Australians aged 65 and over to contribute up to $300,000 from the sale of their home directly into super if they’ve owned it for 10 years or more. If legislated, this proposal will take effect on 1 July 2018.
Speak to your financial adviser
No matter what you’re looking for in a new home, it’s worth talking your financial adviser. They can help you work out your budget and create a financial plan to suit your needs and lifestyle at any stage of life.
Median home prices in each capital city
Source: Domain State of the Market Report, June 2017.
This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision. This document has been prepared by Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ‘Count’ and Count Wealth Accountants® are trading names of Count. Count advisers are authorised representatives of Count. Information in this document is based on current regulatory requirements and laws, as at 23 October 2015, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.