BUYING A HOME
How to research a property online
9 September 2019
Falling in love with a house can feel like a romantic high. The cabinets are cute and the drawers are dreamy, and you can picture yourself watching the sunset from the patio. But remember, simply loving a house doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
Like a romantic partner, a house should be screened for compatibility. Research its quality and check that it’s priced fairly. We often focus on the obvious things, like how a house looks or how many rooms it has, but you’ll also want to know if the neighbourhood suits you. Luckily, just like with dating, a lot of the legwork can be done online (busy people rejoice)!
Get a property value estimate
It’s crucial to know whether a house is overpriced. Today you can get a property value estimate without leaving your chair (thank you internet). Websites like realestate.com.au and domain.com give you price estimates for almost any local house that catches your eye.
Discover local facilities
Local facilities can influence both the price of a property, and whether or not it suits your lifestyle.
Google Street View shows you 360-degree, panoramic views of any street. You can use this to get a filter-free peek into a neighbourhood without a real estate agent’s spin. This can be an easy way to ‘visit’ a house without leaving your own.
Suncorp’s Property Explorer also plots major amenities on an interactive map. Zoom in and out on local museums and cinemas, or imagine Sunday afternoon brunch in a trendy neighbourhood café. The Property Explorer also organises hotspots into categories like dining, education, shopping, and transport. Parents can see if a house is close to schools, but away from main roads, while social butterflies can virtually bar-hop.
Study safety risks
When you’re blinded by that new house glow, it’s easy to forget potential safety risks. After all, no one wants to think of the negatives when imagining their fairytale future.
But you should think about these things before committing to a mortgage. If you’re in a flood-prone zone you may incur more long-term costs, not to mention the heartbreak of having to air-dry those family photo albums. Suncorp’s Property Explorer shows you how at-risk for floods a property is. It also reveals the level of theft in an area, so you have an idea of what to expect.
Find demographic reports
Finding your ideal community is part of living life to the fullest. So, when choosing a neighbourhood, you should consider one that aligns with your values. We all know the suburb stereotypes, but Suncorp’s Property Explorer provides specific details you may not have thought about.
The Suncorp App details the demographics of your favourite ‘burb. It tells you an area’s average income, age range, percentage of married folk, as well as percentage of little folk. If you’re a new parent you may want to bond with neighbours over dirty nappies and temper tantrums. And if you’re young and single, it’s handy to have drinking buddies next door. Suncorp’s Property Explorer will help you find your modern village.
Once you’ve done all the research and found a home you think you can settle down with, check out Suncorp’s First Home Buyer offers!