When is the best time to buy a house?

A couple in front of laptop researching on buying a home

Jenna Meade

Posted August 05, 2021


Timing is everything. Here’s how to know when it’s right for buying a new home.

Buying a home can be an exciting yet emotional experience full of questions and decisions. One of the biggest considerations is timing - but how do you know when it’s right?

Doing your homework, sorting your finances and monitoring the market are all part of a potential buyer’s house hunting package. Here’s our list of handy hints to help you decide when to take the plunge into property ownership.

Woman in front of laptop researching buying a home

It's important to do your research before looking to buy. Image: Getty. 


 

How much can you afford?

Take a deep dive into your current and future finances. Crunching the numbers will quickly show you what’s possible for your potential property, and whether you're on track to save a deposit. You’ll need a solid history of stable income for banks to give you the green light for a home loan - without it, you may pay a much higher rate. Limit stressful surprises by making sure you can afford your repayments, and if you can, set aside a separate rainy day reserve.

Do your homework

Time to do your research. Talk to the bank, and be sure you’re educated on all the costs involved, including insurance, stamp duty, conveyancing and moving expenses. Once you’ve narrowed down your dream home list, find out as much as you can about the properties. Landchecker is a handy tool during this process. The application goes beyond glossy pictures and breaks down insightful property information like planning maps, previous sale prices, planning permits and current and historic high-resolution aerial imagery.

Consider your circumstances

Establish and weigh up the 'why' behind your purchase. Your personal life can have a big impact on when you’d like to settle down in your own space. Newly engaged couples can yearn for a home to start their happily ever afters, while the impending arrival of a new baby can kickstart the desire to nest. First-home buyers can be motivated to leave share housing and start paying off their own mortgage, or a new job can mean new freedoms with space and home ownership.

Aerial view of a suburb and house rooftops

Consider what type of house suits your lifestyle. Image: Getty. 


 

Monitor the market

While the market can be unpredictable, with various factors influencing house prices and availability, there are some leading indicators from the available data. Agent Select COO Karim Belcaid suggests monitoring the days on market data for homes in your desired suburb to find out the average amount of days it takes to sell a property there. “The lower this number, the higher the demand for properties,” he says. “You can expect strong competition along with higher prices. As this number grows, you can assume buyer demand is weakening, and there may be more opportunity to crunch a deal."

As for the seasons, Karim says spring is generally a good time to buy property. “In states like Victoria, there is usually an increase in stock available for sale - and hence buyer FOMO is reduced,” he says.

Ask for advice

Talk to those in the know and on the ground. Agents have a vested interest in being up-to-date on current market conditions and are often a wealth of knowledge and information. Karim also advises chatting to contacts closer to home for honest advice with your best interests at heart. “Sometimes a close family friend or colleague who has had experience buying and selling properties over the years may be a better source of independent support,” he says.

For more information and assistance on buying a house, let us help you with our tips and advice for the exciting journey ahead. 


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