Do I buy now, or Do I wait?

The biggest question for many right now may be: should we buy now – or should we wait? The concern of what’s happening to the economy, and how it’s going to affect the property market is on a lot of people’s minds.

But the fact is it’s still impossible to say what’s going to happen on those two fronts. What we do know is that over the next decade property prices will double. People have to live somewhere, whether they buy or rent; after food housing is the next most important item for any person. And whilst high-end property prices may stagnate for a few more years, the lower to middle range median properties in good suburbs of Melbourne will begin to grow as our population does.

If you are thinking of buying, you need to define your buying plans first and whether or not you decide to buy now or later at least you have defined a sensible plan that you can follow to buy a house that suits your needs, makes your family happier or lets you retire earlier.

In your plan you should include both financial and emotional outcomes. For example your financial outcomes may be whether you aim to minimize debt, or whether you want your home to help you build wealth. Examples of emotional outcomes are, what kind of property will maximize your needs, or your family’s needs and well-being.

Your plan will of course be very different depending on what stage of life you are at, whether your single, couple, have young family or older children are in mid life or retirement.

On an A4 page section out three columns. Place the following headings in each column.

1 – POSITION,  2 – PROPERTY  and  3 – PRICE.

Start with your emotional outcomes and place your answers in the columns. It’s important to think in terms of a bigger picture. Imagine your life in five years from now. Try to allow room for change. Your best emotional outcomes are flexible ones. In terms of the financial outcomes in your life your answers will revolve around Growth (building wealth to give you choice later in life), Cash Flow (allowing you to live for the now), and Risk (allowing you to sleep at night).

Once you have completed your plan looking at each home becomes much easier and quicker because you know what you want. You can assess each home against your plan rather then looking at each home and then trying to work out a plan to fit.

If your plan is functioning well then the question asked at the start: ‘Do I buy now, or do I wait? Can be answered relatively easily. It’s not so much about getting the time right, but about the property itself. Then ask yourself does it meet my plan (Position- Property- Price) and does it feel right? Yes, Well then buy it! No? Then wait and keep looking.