If interest rates are low and the market is rising, the growth in property prices will usually outstrip your ability to save. That means it’s often better to purchase your home as soon as you can afford it.

The best location is different for every homebuyer, depending on their needs.

Start with the locations you would like to live in and where it’s convenient for you to travel to your work and to visit family and friends.

The best way to get know an area is to research it online, then go and see it in person. Exploring a neighbourhood will help you work out if you could really live there.

Start by searching for properties you like and then go to the open inspections. Talk to the agents about the area and on the way there and back; keep your eyes open for traffic issues, construction sites, transport, shopping centres, parks and schools.

Once you have visited around a dozen properties, you’ll start to get a good feel for where the best locations are.best way to estimate what a property is likely to sell for is the recent sale prices of similar properties.

That depends on where you are buying, your budget and why you are buying a property.

For first homebuyers in major cities, buying the right apartment is great way to get into the market and get on the track to buying a house later.

If you’re in a country town or regional city, it usually makes more sense to buy the house you want to live in for the long term.

1. Get your finances in order
Firstly, you need to get your finances sorted, learn what your borrowing capacity is. This will determine your maximum budget and what properties you can afford to buy. A reputable Mortgage Broker can help with this.

2. Understand the property market
Whether you are an owner occupier or investor you need to understand the property market which means thorough research is required. You should look at current vacancy rates, rental yields, and demographics alongside comparable sales and any proposed future developments which could impact your property purchase.

3. Do your research
You also need to research the developer to ensure they are reputable and trustworthy. You should also check the developer has received DA Approval, to reduce the risk of the development being delayed.

4. Make sure it is your area
Its important to buy firstly in an area that is convenient for work, family, friends but also in a growth area. Try to concentrate on the solid facts and figures to determine whether this property is a good investment or not, rather than letting the pretty pictures sway your decision.

5. Be prepared for slight delays
Before you purchase, find out whether the developer has reached their pre-sales target and when construction is expected to start. A boutique development will have a shorter build time compared to a high-rise development. However, bad weather can create delays, pushing back settlement.

6. Buying costs
Although you won’t be paying a mortgage yet, there are other costs you need to be mindful of. Besides the 10% deposit, you also need to pay legal fees, whilst on settlement there are also stamp duty, borrowing costs and even property management fees to consider, so make sure you have sufficient savings to cover this.

7. Seek legal advice
As buying off the plan is slightly different to buying an established property, it is essential that you use a reputable lawyer or conveyancer who is familiar with off the plan contracts to review the contract first before you sign.
Avoid using the cheapest lawyer as this could cost you dearly in the future if your property faces problems and you need to refer back to your signed contract.

8. Think of the majority of buyers
Keep in mind future buyers when you buy your property, as if you end up selling later on, you want your property to appeal to as many buyers as possible. It would be harder to sell a one-bedroom apartment in an area known for families with children.

9. Speak to a Property Consultant
As buying a property is likely to be one of the largest purchases you will ever make, it can be quite a daunting and stressful experience. Working with a Property Consultant who has a lot of experience in new development will be the best insight in to the whole process.