I didn’t know where to start at first, but I guess the beginning is as good a point as any?! The choice was difficult due to the fact we completed our final inspection over the weekend, but I’ll do a post about that later.
So on to the search, for the perfect property, in the perfect location for the perfect price. Yeah right I hear you say! You’re right it didn’t happen like this and we certainly didn’t buy the first property we saw. But I guess nothing really happens like that.
Ashby had the idea of moving to the country and growing something about a year ago (not sure how long he had been thinking about it before this). I have to be honest I wasn’t so keen on the idea at first, but either way we researched online what was available. First thoughts, I don’t want to build. Lots of vacant blocks without power or water and no house. I didn’t want to renovate, I don’t like the idea of lots of things to do and lots of effort. By now you will be getting the picture that there were lots of I don’t want this, I don’t want that and as you can tell I really wasn’t ready. Also the unknowns were big: we don’t know what we are going to grow, what would I do, where would we live. Our search was rather wide it included from Albany to Bunbury and anything in between. We didn’t know the size of property we wanted, if you don’t know what you’re going to grow, how do you know how much land you need?
We first started looking seriously in October 2014, when we had narrowed down where we wanted to live (more on that later). In November we started to look at properties around the Margaret River region. We found a few that we liked and planned to view them after our wedding in January.
Looking at properties where you will live eventually is overwhelming. I am a bit of a thinker (actually a little too much of a thinker), I started thinking about my career, will we have children when we move down, what will we grow, will we make any money. To say the least I found things wrong with most properties we looked at. That wasn’t hard given our price range and the location we were looking in as it wasn’t going to be perfect. It was never going to be a property with everything, like an amazing house, established fruit trees or gardens, a dam filled with fish or marron that is full all year round. This frustrated Ashby (and rightly so), it was something he was largely invested in and his dream was beginning to disappear. On the last day we saw a property with massive potential, and a fair bit of work but with lots of existing infrastructure to work with. We took some photos and headed back to the city to consider if this was the “one” and whether or not we would make an offer.
Here are some tips I have from our year long search. Do you have any to add? Are you searching for your perfect property?
- Take the time to research: Know the market so you can be prepared and certain that you aren’t paying too much. It is also important to monitor in case the market changes in either direction.
- Asking price, is always negotiable: Depending on the market, just because a property has an asking price, doesn’t mean the owners aren’t willing to accept anything less.
- Trust your instincts: If you don’t think you have found the one then maybe you haven’t, this doesn’t mean your just being negative. I remembered one property we looked at, Ashby liked it because of the established fruit trees, I hated it. The main thing was I got a terrible vibe while looking at the house. No matter how silly it sounds, I wasn’t going to live there.
- View multiple properties: Even if you think the property might not be suited to your needs (this is what happened to us, we weren’t going to look at the property we bought). You need to understand what is a good property and what is a bad property. If you don’t look at all different types, you won’t know when you have found the one (or the one that can be fixed to be the one).