C&G’s Guide: New Year, New House? How to Know if it’s Time for a Change

Tips & Advice

There’s probably plenty of things on your New Year’s resolution list for 2022: be more productive, get back to the gym, read more books or pick up a hobby. But one of the biggest things on your list may in fact be to purchase a new home.

Buying a new house is a big goal and a lot of thought should go into the process: not just when it comes to deciding which property to purchase, but whether or not it’s actually the best time for you to do so.

In this C&G blog, we share some tips on how to know if it’s time to take the plunge into the property market.

Consider your circumstances

It’s important to first establish the 'why' behind your purchase. Are you simply feeling restless after another year spent in and out of lockdowns? Or maybe the start of a new year has you itching for something fresh and exciting. While purchasing a property might feel like it will fix these things, chances are that a new home might not be the solution you’re hoping for.

Instead, consider why you really want to buy a new home and weigh up if this would indeed justify the purchase of a property.

It’s the right time for your priorities

Whether you’re expecting a child, have a growing family or simply aren’t able to lead the lifestyle you want, this could be a good indication that it’s time for a new home. Not having enough storage and feeling like you’re living on top of your family members is never an enjoyable experience - and enjoyable experiences is what a home should be all about!

If it’s become apparent that you and your family have outgrown your current residence, then it’s definitely time to consider moving on.

Assess how much you can afford

Take a deep dive into your current and future finances. Crunching the numbers will quickly show you what’s possible for a potential property, and whether you're on track to save a deposit. You’ll need a solid history of stable income for banks to give you the green light for a home loan - without it, you may pay a much higher rate. Limit stressful surprises by making sure you can afford your repayments, and if you can, set aside a separate rainy day reserve.

Your home has turned into a money pit

Old homes come with recurring maintenance issues. Leaky roofs cost an arm and a leg to fix; old appliances need repairing and replacing; energy inefficiencies jack up your utility prices. An aging home affects your savings and often moving into another property can be more economical.

New builds often remove concerns of massive maintenance costs. Plus, they’re frequently

backed by builder warranties, while brand new appliances come with warranties to give you peace of mind.

Adding to this, it may be that your current house is simply too big for you now. Perhaps you’re an empty nester whose children have moved out, and you’re finding yourself paying higher rates for space that you simply don’t need anymore. Downsizing to a smaller house, unit or apartment might be more appropriate for your current way of life.

Monitor the market

The market should have an impact on your decision to buy a new home, as property prices will dictate where and what you can afford to buy. While the market can be unpredictable, with various factors influencing house prices and availability, there are some leading indicators from the available data that you can research to help you make an informed decision.

Seek professional advice

Speaking to a real-estate agent will be beneficial when considering if the time is right for you to take the plunge into the property market. Agents have a vested interest in being up-to-date on current market conditions and will often be able to provide a wealth of knowledge and information on whether now is a good time to enter into the market.

They can also know which suburbs might be suited to the lifestyle you’re looking for, as well as have a good grasp on some properties within those areas that might be in your price range!