I want my Saturdays back

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Since late last year I have been looking for a house to buy and then live in. I ramped this up a few months ago which means that on almost every Saturday I have driving around to various open for inspections and watching a couple of auctions.

On two occasions I placed offers. In one case the successful offer was $70k above my offer and in the other the successful offers was $45k above. Ouch.

So what am I looking for, where am I looking, and how much can I afford?

Money

Of the above three factors, the money is the easiest to sort out as it boils down to two factors: my savings, and the most of my take home pay that I am comfortable committing to loan repayments.

Working backwards from a loan repayment figure gives me the loan about. Adding my savings and then allowing for other costs (stamp duty, etc) gives me my maximum figure.

Location

Where to buy is the hardest of the three factors to work out as it has a number of sub factors:

  • I don’t want to be too close to work, but I also don’t want to be too far to make commuting by bicycle impractical.
  • Some areas are clearly out of my league, but I don’t want to be in what I have come to think of as a rental area, especially in a block of units where all the other units are rented.
  • I would like to be close to public transport, including making it easy to get to and from the city.

Based on these I have been looking in the Mount Waverley/Chadstone/Ashwood area. Less than 10km from work, has a fair number of units and is near the Glen Waverley railway line.

What

My budget and location have led me to look for a two bedroom unit, preferably with its own street frontage (ie no common driveway). A two bedroom house in my price range would need too much work, as would a three bedroom unit.

When I started this I had no idea how much of my time would be consumed by it. May an evening has been spent reviewing listings online and my Saturdays have been taken up by going to as many as six open for inspections. In two weeks I am intending to bid at an auction and hopefully that brings the hunting phase to an end and I will be a home owner.

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