03.08.2023 Buying Tips

Could Your Search Criteria Stop You Finding Your Dream Home?

Could Your Search Criteria Stop You Finding Your Dream Home?

Are you making your search for a home in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs harder than it needs to be?

If you’re struggling to find your dream property in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, your search criteria may be to blame. Whether you’re fixated on certain features, limiting your search to certain areas, or relying solely on online portals, you may be cutting off properties that would otherwise be ideal. In this article, we’ll explore some common blocks buyers put up when it comes to buying property, and help you broaden your horizons to find the perfect property.

1. Insisting on one suburb (or street)

We often speak with would-be buyers who are determined to live in a particular suburb or postcode – and sometimes even a particular street. But not including “surrounding suburbs” in their search they cut down their options – often dramatically – and make their property search an almost impossible task. There could be a dream house just a couple of blocks away, but you won’t see it.

By being open to a change of suburb or postcode, you won’t just potentially bring a greater number of properties into consideration, you may also save a significant amount of money. That’s because some suburbs can come with a lower price tag than their neighbour while still offering an almost identical lifestyle.

Here are a few tips we often give buyers who are caught up on one suburb but can’t find something they want.

If you’re looking at… Also consider buying in…
Woollahra Centennial Park and Edgecliff have similar housing stock and offer a similar lifestyle
Paddington Darlinghurst and even Queen’s Park or Bondi Junction have some fantastic terrace houses and a lower median price
Bronte Waverley or Clovelly also has a wonderful beachside lifestyle and a median house price that’s over $1.5m less than Bronte’s
Double Bay The median apartment price in Rose Bay is almost 20% cheaper than its near neighbour and it also has great services, shops and village amenities

2. Searching within a narrow price range

Budgets are very important, but many home buyers get it wrong when they restrict their initial online search to a narrow price range. For instance, if they have a budget of $3 million, they’ll use this as a search criteria on the property portals – potentially also putting a bottom floor of $2.5 million in for good measure. Again, this puts unnecessary limits on their search.

The reality is that some properties that fall outside of your search range may actually be perfect for your next move. For instance, some properties listed below your budget may be able to offer everything you want with a little vision and renovation work. Alternatively, when a property falls outside your budget, the vendor may have priced it too high, and with a bit of work, you’ll be able to negotiate it down.

3. Insisting on parking

Everyone wants somewhere to park their car. In our experience, it’s essential on almost every home buyer’s search criteria. However, with land often at a premium in the eastern suburbs and many of the homes being constructed before everybody owned a motor vehicle, not every property offers parking. So while having a designated parking spot may seem like a non-negotiable, by insisting on one (or two) parking spaces in your initial search, you could be eliminating what would otherwise be a perfect property.

Instead of limiting your search only to properties that match your specific parking requirements, open your search criteria. If a home you love doesn’t have parking, look for workarounds – is there street parking, could you rent a garage nearby, or could you even add a parking spot? By doing so, you could even be adding value to the home you buy.

4. Insisting on a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms

Even limiting the number of bathrooms and bedrooms can sometimes eliminate the right home for you. Searching only for four-bedroom homes could mean you miss out on a three-bedroom home with study. Alternatively, it could mean you miss out on a home with the potential for a fourth bedroom down the track. Bathrooms are also often easy to add through the right renovation. On the flip side, expanding your search means you may find you can afford more space than you need. Every house is uniquely different, so what ends up being your dream home may not fit the exact requirements you’re searching for.

5. Relying too heavily on digital

Some people say they’re serious about buying but do all their research online. Unless a property’s pictures and description match exactly what they’re looking for, they’ll write it off. In doing so, they never get a proper feel for most properties and deny themselves the opportunity to see what might have been a great home.

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While the property portals, like Domain and realestate.com.au, can be a great starting point on your property journey, you shouldn’t be too heavy-handed in using them to eliminate properties. By attending open homes – both in-person or virtually – you’ll get a much more accurate view of whether or not a home is right for you.

6. Not registering with local real estate agents

A lot of buyers think that real estate agents only exist to serve the sellers. But doing the right thing by our clients means introducing them to the right buyers for their homes.

By registering with us, you’ll get access to off-market listings that aren’t available to the general public. We can also sometimes let you see a home before it’s listed on the property portals – giving you a jumpstart on potential competitors.

Register for off-market listings now

7. Not compromising

Finding the perfect home in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs can be a challenge, and when you’re too rigid in your search criteria, you make it harder still.

It’s important to remember that – whether you’re spending one million dollars or 50 million dollars – almost every property purchase contains some element of compromise.

By accepting this and looking for good instead of perfect, you give yourself the opportunity to find or create the very best home for your lifestyle.

Want more?

If you’re thinking about buying or selling property in the Eastern Suburbs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.