Further ideas on being a smarter buyer

by Alistair Helm in


In addition to the articles I write analysing and observing the property market and the real estate industry on this site I also provide observations and opinions working with John Bolton at Squirrel, the property and mortgage experts.

Here a a couple of recent articles I have written on the subject of advice in choosing the right type of house to buy and also what not to say to a real estate agent - enjoy and share!

The buying choice - Buy new or a refurb?

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The allure of a new home or a recent renovation has significant appeal, however as the saying goes "all that glitters is not gold" and a wise cautionary approach might be recommended when assessing these buying options. Here's some advice tracing the pros and cons of these purchase options

The buying choice - A do-up or an existing family home

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Whilst never the "shiny new thing" a good traditional family home or a property in dire need of serious work are good buying options as long as you have your eyes open and appreciate what you are getting and what you (or someone working for you) is going to have to do. Here's some advice tracing the pros and cons of these purchase options

Things you should never say to a real estate agent!

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As a buyer you need to have your wits about you - you need to remember that the smiling-faced agent showing round your desired home is a wolf in sheep's clothing ready to pounce on any morsel of insight they can use for their clients advantage - here are some cautionary advice of what not to say!


You are a savvy buyer!

by Alistair Helm in


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I should qualify that statement; you are a far savvier buyer than your parents. The fact is buyers and sellers in today’s property world are smart, well informed and able to make informed decisions far in excess of what previous generations could hope to achieve.

This is such an important fact to consider when you first start thinking about stepping onto the property ladder or taking a step up. Consider for a moment the things we take for granted today in the property buying and selling process that would have been merely a dream a couple of decades ago.

Twenty years ago say, there were only 2 ways to find out what properties were available to purchase. You would go visit the local real estate office. Not just one thiugh; you would have to visit them all to ask what properties they had for sale. Alternatively you would wait until the weekend to check out what properties were advertised in the local paper or property magazine. No such thing as email alerts or live updates of new listings then. You had to do the hard work, a regular visit to real estate offices to collect printed sheets of property for sale, if you were lucky the local property magazine was dropped off at your house.

Details on an individual property was sketchy to say the least. In the paper you might get a single photo – more often than not, a black and white photo. It was not uncommon to have just a few lines of description as properties were listed by suburb under general classifieds – pages of them! To get so see more of a property you had to visit the home. Yes open homes were, as they are today a valuable means of assessing a property. Alternatively you had to succumb to the company of your friendly local real estate agent who would drive you around a number of properties encouraging you to see this one… or this one… and maybe you should consider this one!

As for background information on recent sales prices or the current rating assessment from the local council, that data was safely locked up behind government departments with stern looking counter staff who reacted to official compliance request at glacial pace as box files were referenced to provide answers.

So every time you flick up a browser window, receive an email alert, click a smartphone app or download a property file give a moment’s thought to how lucky you are to have so much insight and information to hand to make you such a savvy buyer!