Are you considering buying a property in regional Victoria? It's an exciting time, whether you're after your forever home or merely looking to invest in real estate. A regional area can offer excellent growth potential, mainly if it is a town close to a major city – like Geelong, for instance. A tree or seachange can also be just what the doctor ordered if you're sick of the hustle and bustle of city living. Relocating to a regional area can be excellent if you want to put down roots or raise a family.
But what if you're not real estate savvy and are uncertain about buying a property in regional Victoria? Lucky for you, this helpful article will share some top tips on the subject. Read on to learn more.
Compare Home Loan Rates
Unless you have significant cash reserves in your bank account, you'll likely need to take out a mortgage to afford a property – yes, even if you’re looking to buy in regional Victoria. You should investigate the interest rate vs comparison rate of various lenders to find one that best suits you. This means the rate the bank offers versus a comparison of another lender. For instance, one lender might offer a 5.6% variable home loan rate compared to 6.5% for another.
You should learn how interest rates, principal amounts, and repayments work before committing to buy a property. A basic understanding of how your home loan will work is required. Read on on handy blogs and watch some YouTube videos – or discuss the topic with your mortgage broker if you use one. Hot tip: a broker is well worth it, as they may be able to access finance offers unavailable on the consumer market.
Pick a Growth Area
Real estate tends to grow in value over time. For instance, the house your parents purchased is worth a great deal more than they paid back in the 70s, 80s or 90s. It's the land that appreciates (grows in value) as a resource.
A regional property won't appreciate as fast as a property in the inner city, but it should still grow in value over time. When looking for regional real estate, try to pick a suburb that has shown some growth potential. You can look at real estate sales data for that suburb and see if there is a sharp increase in property values or a gradual one. This will give you an idea of the growth profile of that area, which you can then use to make a purchasing decision.
This tip is probably one for the landlords over the owner-occupiers. As a property investor, you want an asset that appreciates, whereas if you're looking for somewhere to call home, you'll have other top priorities for a home, which we'll cover now.
Choose a Location Close to Schools and Amenities
If you're planning a family or already have kids, you'll want to buy a house near daycare, kinders and secondary schools. Moving to a regional location means there will be fewer options for these compared to the city. For instance, a small regional town might have two primary schools and a single high school, limiting your child's options. With that in mind, it’s well worth doing a little research into the schools in your new area – just to make sure that they can cater to your children and equip them with a quality education.
For younger families with infants and toddlers, you’ll also want to find property that’s close to a daycare, preschool or kindergarten. And alongside this, families who are planning to expand on their family further should also look into hospitals and GP clinics in the area, or any other amenities that you feel your family will need to use regularly.
Always Get a Pre-Purchase Building and Pest Inspection
This is a tip for buying real estate – you should always arrange a pre-purchase building and pest inspection. A qualified building inspector can assess the property and advise of any structural or construction defects. For instance, if a property you're interested in requires re-stumping or blocking, this is a huge cost that you'll need to find the cash for. Other defects can include poor waterproofing in wet areas, leaking roofs or faulty wiring.
A pest inspection is also prudent, as you wouldn't want to buy a home that is infested with vermin or has termite damage – again, a significant cost to rectify. Any real estate agent will understand this caution and should be able to facilitate any pre-purchase inspections you wish to undertake.
Investigate Any Major Development
Finally, when purchasing in a regional area, you should investigate if any major development is planned for near your property. This is for a few reasons. You may not want to live near a massive, years-long construction site, such as a new highway bypass or major road works. However, a major commercial development nearby could offer benefits such as more shops and better value for your property.
As with any real estate purchase, being forewarned is being forearmed. So be sure to do a little research by jumping onto VicRoads or looking into scheduled works or civil development projects that may be commencing or underway in your new surroundings.
Victoria’s regional property market is currently booming, with plenty of opportunities for first-home buyers and young Australian families to enter growing regional economies on the ground floor. If you’re able to get your finances in order and find employment in a growing regional centre, then you may be able to enjoy economic stability for your family and ensure that your children are able to experience an enriched childhood away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Be sure to follow the tips outlined above to help kickstart your entry into regional real estate today.