As I mentioned, I had two mandatories – location and atmosphere. I had to be close to my mother’s house (Sable’s stomping ground during my work hours), and I needed space from the neighbours.
I did copious amounts of research around the housing market in Greater Geelong, and set up online alerts for the area to keep on top of what was out there. So, by the time I set off on my search, I really only needed to head to a handful of open houses. My past purchasing experiences in both Victoria and Western Australia also meant I was familiar with the process (and the tricks). True to form, I did my best to bargain prices down – constantly trying to get the agents to give me a better deal. I generally use this method in sales, and even sometimes with personal purchases, in situations like the housing market it’s rare that you should actually be paying the initially-set price.
Sadly, my (perhaps over) confidence in bargaining cost me a house that I really wanted on one occasion. It was set along the Bellarine Rail Trail, an old heritage rail track converted into 32km of walking trails. I could just picture Sable and I walking along those trails on our morning walk. Needless to say, I was a bit gutted when the place went to someone else. It was almost like I’d let Sable down.
Sadly, my confidence in bargaining cost me a house that I really wanted on one occasion. It was almost like I’d let Sable down.
But, hey – you win some and you lose some, and everything happens for a reason. I picked myself up and headed back out and into the search.
Luckily for me, it wasn’t long before I found ‘the one’. This property was perfect – even more suited for Sable and I than the one before – and I was not about to risk losing it. I made an offer really quickly. This was highly uncharacteristic of me (but not wanting to miss out on a great opportunity can do that to you). And besides, knowing I had already been through the pre-approval process with ING DIRECT gave me the confidence I needed to seize that opportunity without hesitation.
I had used ING DIRECT in my house purchases before, and had also recently moved all my finances over, though I had yet to engage them for financing. I was beyond happy with my experiences with them so far, having been impressed with their customer service each time I needed to use it – and that’s coming from a man who worked in retail for 19 years! Needless to say, choosing ING DIRECT for my home loan was basically a given – a decision I was more than confident to make.
Researching the market in your desired area is key when it comes to understanding what you’ll be able to get for your money. It’s important to understand what features you’re willing to let go for the right price, and what’s worth it to keep searching for.
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