Searching for your dream home can be an exciting experience: you get to explore different housing styles, check out new locations and think about the kind of decor you love.
To help the process go smoothly, a great idea is to spend a little time and effort listing the features you want in a home, before you go shopping.
This goes beyond just the style of housing, but also the type of neighbourhood you wish to live in.
Savvy buyers also look at the long-term picture, such as the likely capital growth in value you can expect over a minimum five-year period.
Once you have this basic list sorted, it's time to check out some open homes, where you can streamline your must-have and like-to-have lists.
Here's our top tips to get you started:
Price is right
Your budget will determine most things. There's no point in seeking a seven-bedroom home if you've a budget for a one-bedroom apartment. It's best to have a pre-approved loan to be clear on your budget.
What's your style?
Are you seeking a modern home, an older renovated one, or a fixer-upper? If you're seeking an apartment, what type of building and features, such as security and parking, do you need?
Location is key
While prices may force you to be flexible, it's still important to know the areas where you'd like to live and those you wish to avoid. Listing desirable amenities and services like transport or schools will help you rule suburbs in and out.
Lost in space
Be clear on the minimum amount of space you need, especially if you're starting a family or your children will be teenagers in the next few years. Some buyers will only visit homes if they meet their minimum square-metre threshold.
Common priorities include a minimum number of bedrooms and size of yard. This list must be the non-negotiables.
You can be far more flexible with this list, but it is no less critical. Homes that do not tick half the boxes on this list are probably unsuitable.
Think about the kind of street you want to live in. Are you seeking the hustle and bustle of an inner-city location, a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburbs, or something in between? Maybe you would be happy living on a main road, knowing that you will likely get a price discount and that you are not at home during peak hour. These are all things to consider.