Diving into researching Sydney was actually really enjoyable. It was the beginning of a new chapter for us, so nerves aside, we were really eager to explore our options. We’d worked hard and saved well over the past five years – paying off our student loans, cutting back on big expenditures, and all around being responsible with our money. We felt confident that we’d be able to get something that suited our needs and would set us up for our new life in Sydney.
During these early phases of our home buying journey, we made sure to do our homework on what we could expect to buy in Sydney within our price range. Using ING DIRECT’s home loan calculator meant we could better understand what we could afford, and that knowledge guided our search for possible new homes.
We started to feel on edge about whether or not finding something reasonable in Sydney was actually realistic.
Basing ourselves in Surry Hills was a great starting point – we spent our first three months as Sydneysiders renting a flat there. We loved the area and figured we’d like to stay fairly close by, as it was really convenient and close to work for both of us.
During that time, we carefully compared the suburbs, streets and buildings around us. We started by looking at factors like building quality, peace and quiet, and distance to transport, parks, amenities, and our favourite cafes. We also made sure that we employed conveyancing lawyers to go over the strata reports of all the places we were interested in. Personally, any strata issues raised by our lawyers were an immediate deal-breaker for us.
As we dove deeper and deeper into the process, attending countless inspections and meeting with several real estate agents, our initial fears were confirmed – it was almost impossible to know who to trust in the real estate game. We were even (unknowingly) dragged into a Dutch auction, and used as a pawn to push up the price of a place. That experience was really confronting. We felt taken advantage of and we were already a bit apprehensive, so this gave us an even more jaded view of the Sydney market.
We started to feel on edge about whether or not finding something reasonable in Sydney was actually realistic. But just in time, we found our agent, Eliza. Straight off the bat, we knew we could trust her. She really reassured us about the process, and was always willing to help us find a place that was perfect for our needs.
With her guidance, and after looking at quite a few properties in a number of suburbs, we finally settled on Zetland. The neighbourhood really had everything we were looking for in our new home, and buying there seemed like a good investment for the future. Plus, it’s walking distance to work for both of us – huge bonus!
It can be scary getting involved in a new housing market, but understanding what you can afford and finding the right people to help you along the way can really make a difference.
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