Young couples

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Young couples

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

We want to live close to the city but can't afford to buy. What should we do?

Young couples often prefer to live closer to the city so they can be close to work and enjoy the social life as well. Unfortunately, this is the time in life when you can usually least afford to buy close to the city.
  • Think about combining incomes to buy an investment property near the city and then immediately rent it out. Two people can more easily make up the shortfall between the cost of the mortgage and the rental income
  • Income from the rent will help you pay down the mortgage and eventually you’ll be able to afford to move into the property, or borrow against your increased equity
  • Alternatively, consider buying an investment property in a well-located outer suburb with good transport connections. In time, you’ll build equity and when the market rises, so will the value of your investment. Later, you can either sell to realise your profit or borrow against your new wealth to buy

We already own two separate properties. Should we keep them, or sell and combine assets?

Sometimes, couples enter a relationship already each owning property. These properties might be rented investments or their principal place of residence.

Either way, when moving in together, there’s plenty to think about with your future real estate strategy. You have the option to…
  • Sell both properties, combine assets and buy something bigger or in a better location
  • Keep both properties, rent them out, and use the income to increase your borrowing capacity
  • Sell one property, keep the other, and use the equity from the one you sell to improve the one you keep
  • We suggest you get up-to-date appraisals on both properties and then consider which is best to keep, or whether both should be disposed of
  • Talk over your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Then, when you’re both on the same page, talk to real estate agents and your financial advisor to help plan a strategy

We already own a house, should we sell it before we upsize?

It’s a wise idea to find a buyer for your current home before purchasing another.
  • That way, you’ll know exactly what price you’ve achieved so you can budget effectively for your next property
  • If you buy first, you may find yourself in the position of making repayments on two houses at the same time
  • If your first home doesn’t achieve the price you expected, you may come under unnecessary financial strain
  • Research your loan options with a financial advisor or mortgage broker.  If you’ve sold your existing property, but not yet settled, a Deposit Bond could be the most cost-effective way of financing the deposit for your next property
  • Think about whether you’d prefer to keep your first property, rent it, then use the income to help finance your next home

What do we need to know when considering moving to a larger house?

As exciting as the prospect of moving to a bigger house is, it can be quite an undertaking and must be taken seriously.
  • It’s important to establish if this move is a need or a wish. If your present home no longer accommodates your family’s growth, then moving to a larger home will likely be necessary
  • While a larger home may seem like an attractive option, it will also be more expensive to maintain. This might outweigh the perceived benefits if you’re moving to simply due to a wish
  • Speak with your existing financial advisor to assess your current situation and see if you are able to comfortably service a bigger loan
  • Review any other debt you have (e.g. credit card, car loan, school fees etc.) as this can have a significant impact on your borrowing capabilities. Make sure debts are either paid up-to-date, or paid off entirely before investigating or applying for a new mortgage
  • Make use of tools like a home loan repayment calculator to work out what you can afford - Use our finance calculator
  • Talk to a First National Real Estate agent about selling your current property and finding your dream home
First National has over 400 offices across Australia and New Zealand. Find your closest office here.

How do we choose the right real estate agent?

One of the most important elements when choosing the real estate agent to represent you is ‘trust’.

An agent offering you the lowest commission rate and/or the highest appraisal is not necessarily the best option. To make your selection easier, take the advice of the professionals:  

  • Ask your colleagues, family, friends and neighbours if they are able to refer you to a proactive agent
  • If you are unable to receive referrals, search the internet for reviews from past clients of local agents
  • When you interview your potential agent, ask the following questions:
-    How many properties did you sell last year and last month?
-    How many buyers are you working with at the moment?
-    Can you provide me with an example of your marketing campaign?
-    How many salespeople do you have in your team?
-    What charges will I incur if the house doesn't sell?
-    If I am not happy with your performance, how do I cancel our agreement?
-    Can you provide me with a list of your past clients and testimonials?
-    How often will I receive feedback on the progress of my sale?
-    Can you provide me with 3 recent sales in the area, similar to my property, and what they sold for?
-    What is the average house price in my area?
-    Do you have similar properties to mine currently for sale?

Click here for more information on choosing the right agent.

First National Real Estate has over 400 offices around Australia & New Zealand. Our real estate agents would love to help you today. Click here to contact one of our agents

How can we get an accurate sense of what our current home is worth?

The easiest way to get an idea of what your home is worth is to ask for an obligation free property appraisal from a First National Real Estate agent.
  • An agent will complete a comparison of your home against the prices achieved by other homes that have recently sold
  • He or she will take into account the size of your land, improvements, renovations and location
  • You can also check recent prices achieved in the sold galleries of many agents websites
  • Or, purchase a report from a Licensed Valuer
Click here for your free appraisal

Can we make an offer on our next property, subject to the sale of our first?

Yes, you can do this by adding it as a condition to your offer and making sure it’s included as a clause in the contract of sale.
  • Keep in mind you should only do this if you have no other choice. Your offer will be much less attractive to the seller and real estate agent
  • A lower offer from a competing buyer, without such restrictions, may be accepted instead of yours because it may be a safer and quicker sale for the seller

We just want an investment for now. Where should we buy?

The ideal properties to invest in are properties in areas where it is cheaper to buy than rent. This gives a better chance of strong capital growth and higher returns. But also look out for:
  • Houses and apartments that are close to employment centres
  • Properties that are positioned close to transport, schools and areas where there are plenty of jobs
  • Homes occupying good positions but where inexpensive renovations would help them produce higher rents
  • Properties where an extra bedroom can be created from the existing floor plan. This can add substantially to the yield and subsequent capital growth (when you sell)
  • Real estate that is poorly presented or marketed and may not therefore realise its full market value

We want to sell our investment property but it’s rented. What’s the best approach?

Remember, although it’s your property, it’s your tenant’s home. It’s vital your agent communicates effectively and respectfully with your tenants about access arrangements.
  • Consider negotiating a reduced rent period while the property is for sale to facilitate cooperation
  • Consider arranging 2 or 3 one-hour periods per week where prospective buyers will be shown through. This helps tenants present the property properly and minimises inconvenience
While it’s easier to sell an un-tenanted property than a tenanted property, remember…
  • While tenanted, you are receiving rent money and this makes your property more appealing to investors
  • If your property is vacant, it may look less appealing. Consider hiring a presentation consultant.
Each state has different laws, however if you would like your tenant to vacate the property so you can sell it with vacant posession, you should speak to a property manager about the laws in your state and the appropriate approach to take.

Our agents at First National Real Estate are more than happy to talk you through the processes and the best option for you.

Click here to find your local First National Real Estate office.

What type of home would you recommend for a growing family?

When buying a family home, you need to consider your budget, what sort of area will serve the needs of growing children, what the neighbourhood is like, and proximity to schools and public transport. Also…
  • Look for properties that offer potential for further expansion, either upward with a second level or outward into the backyard
  • Look for north facing backyards. They make for a more attractive play area and the lawn will be more able to stand up to the hard wear of growing children
  • Children love to climb trees so look for gardens where trees have lots of limbs. Children can safely grab hold of them and are less likely to fall
  • Aim to find level land that can easily be fenced. It will make it easier to secure pets, build pools, BBQs, sheds and cubby houses at a later stage
Your local First National Real Estate agent can help you find the right home. Click here to find your nearest First National Real Estate office, give us your wish list, and we’ll soon have you happily housed.
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