“Since navigating the housing market has become more complex than ever— any potential homebuyer, whether a first time buyer or not, can benefit from solid professional advice in their pursuit of homeownership,” he said, adding that the following four tips are worth bearing in mind when looking for a property in the US.
Boost your savings
You’ll need a minimum of 3.5% of the purchase price up your sleeve to cover down payments and closing costs, suggests Heithaus. You should also establish reserves for less visible expenses, such as closing costs repairs, renovations and upgrades.
Understand the micro-local real estate market
Homebuyers can save themselves money by watching the seasonal trends in their targeted areas, and being financially prepared to make an offer when the time is right. Heithaus suggests asking real estate professionals in your target areas to provide detailed reports from RealEstate Business Intelligence on local market conditions to help guide your decision based on the trends in particular suburbs.
Consult a real estate professional
Long before you are ready to buy, seek out and interview up to three real estate professionals who can prepare you to face the market by addressing questions, setting realistic expectations and providing valuable insight and expertise to the complex process of home purchasing in the US.
“This is no time to ‘go it alone,” says Heithaus, who suggests scanning US real estate listings sites such as Homes Database to find currently available listings and locate local real estate professionals.
Avoid making major purchases
It may be a bit of a no-brainer, whether you’re buying at home or abroad, but Heithaus reiterates the importance of budgeting for your next property purchase and staying away from those tempting luxury spends. Given the problems that Australians can encounter when trying to finance a property purchase in the US, you’d be well advised not to follow the herd in to a new car purchase (amazingly, Australia’s year-on-year car sales were up 25% in May) until your overseas investment is up and running.