Smart Buyers Blog


How to find the right property – a buyers’ checklist to help you make a smart buying decision

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So you’ve decided you want to buy a property, but where do you start when it comes to finding the right one?

The first thing you do should be to decide on a geographic location – if you can narrow down your search to three or four suburbs that are ideal.

When you’re deciding on a location, there is a range of things to think about to help you decide whether it’s the best property for you.

If you’re an owner-occupier, you’ll need to think about  living in the property and if you’re an investor, you’ll need to think about how rentable the property is.

You’ll also need to think about the property’s resale potential if, and when, you decide to sell.

As with any major purchase, it’s wise to seek help from a professional like a buyer’s agent to help you. Our checklist below will help you – while it’s not an exhaustive list, it covers the major things you need to think about:

1.Proximity to transport – Is the property close to a train station or local bus route? This is a critical factor if you’re living in the property, or wanting to rent it. As traffic in Brisbane worsens, accessibility to public transport is becoming more important to people. Don’t buy too close to public transport, however – you don’t want to literally be right on the doorstep of a train station, but within walking distance is ideal.

2. Accessibility – Are there major roads located nearby? It’s important to be able to easily access other areas of the city if you’re travelling by private transport.

3. Proximity to amenities – Are there adequate amenities close to the property, including shops, restaurants and cafes and other services, such as a medical centre?

4. Potential for growth – Are there any major infrastructure projects underway or planned for the area,  which will improve facilities and services and make the area more attractive, causing more people to move there? This will lead to future growth in value.

5. Proximity to employment – As well as being close to amenities, is the property close to employment nodes? If you’re looking for an investment property, this is really important – tenants like the convenience of living close to their work.

6. Traffic – Is the property on a main road, are the roads around it busy, or do people use the street as a rat run? High traffic locations are not worth as much. Not only are they noisy, but it’s inconvenient having lots of vehicles passing by.

7. Crime – What is the level of crime in the area? Houses located near high schools or train stations can be prone to vandalism.

8. Aspect – What kind of outlook does the property have? If it has views of, for example, the city or local community views, it will command a premium and be more sought after when it comes time to sell or rent.

9. Privacy – This can be just as important as views for some people. If you have apartments or a double storey house beside your lowset house, for example, you may have people peering. This could reduce from the attractiveness of the property.

10. Neighbours – This is one people often overlook, but it can severely impact upon your life if you are an owner-occupier. How do you get to know the neighbours before you move in? Knock on their door and ask if they like living in the street and if there’s anything you should know – you don’t have anything to lose by doing this!

11. Lot size – Houses with lot sizes above 600sq m are ideal. Not only will they be more sought after by homebuyers – especially because bigger blocks are becoming more scarce – but they also have the potential for subdivision down the track.

12. Zoning – What kind of development does the property lend itself to? Your property may not have the potential to be subdivided just yet, but is there the potential for this in the future? If the zoning changes – for example from low density residential to low-to-medium density residential (LMR) – the value of your property may significantly increase.

13. Future town planning – What are the plans for the area down the track? Will there be apartments going up all around your house, which may affect its value? Or are there plans for a widening of the road, which may mean some of your property could be resumed? Research into the plans for the area is crucial.

14. Renovation potential – Is there an opportunity to add value to the property? This is always a bonus. Some people may not want to renovate, but if you do, this is an important consideration. Renovations might range from purely aesthetic, such as painting, to major structural changes; either can improve the property’s value. If you’re buying specifically to renovate, make sure you do the sums first to ensure you’ll be making a profit.

15. Body corporate – If you’re buying an apartment, make sure you investigate the body corporate. Is it running well? How much is in the sinking fund? What will the quarterly contributions be?

What is a buyer’s agent?

A buyer’s agent is someone who will do the research and hard work to find you a sound investment property that will meet your brief, negotiate on your behalf and help you build your property portfolio. A buyer’s agent acts as your advocate in the buying process.

Buyers’ agents successfully negotiate to buy properties for our clients every day of the week, so our skills are fine-tuned.

What makes a good buyer’s agent?

Someone who:

  • knows their local market – they must live and breath the property in their area
  • can show you the hidden issues that could turn into nightmares after the property is purchased
  • understands the true value of a property and the fundamentals for capital growth – rather than repeating what is said by the media and sales agents
  • understands the power of negotiation and can successfully negotiate on your behalf
  • has good relationships with sales agents. This makes it easier to negotiate, especially since sales agents are more candid with buyers’ agents, and it also means the buyer’s agent may have access off-market deals.
  • has experience in the property industry.

At the end of the day, you will save money by using a credible professional who is your advocate – acting on your behalf and in your best interests.

Let us help you with your next property purchase

At Brisbane Buyers’ Agency, we help our clients make smart property decisions as easily as possible. We are solely focused on the Brisbane market. We have a proven process and are highly experienced negotiators who regularly save our clients money, time and frustration. Our proprietary property analytics tool, the Brisbane Buyers Agency Smart Buyers Index, gives our clients the inside running on the true property hotspots in Brisbane. We work on a flat fee arrangement, we do not work on commission, so you know exactly what your costs will be.

Please call me on 0409 499 034, or email me on to arrange a free consultation for your next property investment in Brisbane.