“Tell me what you want, what you really, really want.” “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want. I wanna … I wanna … I wanna … I wanna … four bedroom house with multiple family zones, three bathrooms, an alfresco dining zone and a four-car garage.”
It’s not often that Infolio have the chance to reasonably quote Spice Girls lyrics in their property advice blogs. Today is that day. Too often, purchasers are prevented from acquiring quality property investments by their ideas of ‘what they really, really want’. These iron-clad beliefs about a good property’s inherent characteristics come from many sources – few of them based in reality. In one of our recent Infolio : Meet The Clients editorials, we featured landlord, first home owner and newbie investor Yi-Luen. He made a really interesting point about changing expectations on his journey to property ownership with the help of our buyer advocate service.
“….when I started thinking about buying a home my ideas about property were quite different. I grew up in a big four-bedroom house with a backyard, and I was looking for something similar. I thought if I can’t get a house, I’ll get a unit. A lot of the early months of house hunting was working out what was important to me. I realised that I only needed a one-bedroom apartment, yet I was looking for a three-bedroom home. I was working in the city, and I didn’t want to have much of a commute. It helps to get into the market when you’re prepared to make sacrifices and to live more efficiently.”
Yi-Luen’s comments clearly encapsulate how his ideas about what he wanted had nothing to do with his actual circumstances. He didn’t need a family home in the outer-suburbs. He is a young professional working in the city, without children. He ultimately acquired an apartment in Elwood with the help of an Infolio advocate, which he subsequently leased. This is a far cry from that four-bedroom house he initially had his heart set on.
Where do your property beliefs come from?
Like your favorite footy team or political party, our beliefs about what a home should look like often come from our families and friends. It’s not unusual for a well-meaning rellie to tell you what you should buy. Or for their eyes to boggle when you mention the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in a blue-chip suburb. “Why would you spend so much money on a tiny apartment? You can buy a beautiful four bedroom family home in (insert outer suburb location here).” Over the years, we’ve seen many would-be homeowners stymied by ill-fitting advice from their nearest and dearest. Families – you’ve gotta love ‘em! But you don’t have to listen to their property advice (save your listening for the professionals). You need to buy a property that matches your goals in terms of both lifestyle and finances.
Want versus Need
You might have grown up in a grand home with all the bells and whistles. Naturally, you’d like something similar for yourself. But don’t forget that your family’s fortunes – and comfy residence – didn’t appear overnight. In most cases, a luxe family residence is the result of starting off in more modest accommodation and working one’s way up. This is something you should never forget when buying your own first residence. Do you need a brand new apartment? Or would an older-model apartment that’s neat and in a premium position do just as well? Do you really need two bathrooms? Might one suffice as you ease your way into the market? Be willing to compromise, as no property is ever perfect. It’s an unwillingness to compromise that can hold you back from good buying, potentially locking you out of a property in your preferred location.
Remember – a property isn’t forever. View each asset acquired on your property journey as a stepping stone: that first one bedroom apartment will open doors of opportunity into the future. You might choose to sell it and upsize, or you may keep it and begin to build a solid property investment portfolio. Whatever you do – don’t let your ideas about what you really, really want get in the way of what you really, really need.