Quick, what’s the first thing you need to ask yourself when you’re buying a house?

Not sure? Have a look at what Eric Wong, founder of Zikira Properties, has to say!

When it comes to property, there’s really no one else to go to other than Eric, whose advice is often about distancing yourself from the situation, viewing it with a different perspective, and making better and more informed decisions.


What do I need the most?

Anyone who has ever tried buying a house will all, I’m sure, agree on one thing: finding the ‘perfect home’ is almost like chasing a unicorn. It’s virtually impossible.

You could spend a lifetime looking for that one place that has X number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and perfect furnishing, and is in the suburb you want to live, and is also within your budget — and you wouldn’t be anywhere close!

Here’s my advice: be flexible. Focus on what’s most important to you, and come up with solutions to make everything else work around it. Say that you need a house that’s close to work and within budget, but you’re also looking for a 4 bedroom place because you have three kids. Consider, then, having two of the younger kids share a room temporarily and building a granny flat later on.

Once you open your mind up to new possibilities and new kinds of solutions, you can stop searching and start living.


Do I really need to sell?

This might seem obvious but I can’t stress enough how important it is! Choosing to sell in a hot market can be one of the worst decisions that you’ll ever make. (No pressure.)The extra cash will be offset by higher replacement costs, lower return on the term deposit, and the extra support needed for your kids to enter the property market.Instead, why don’t you think about re-financing then renovating to turn your house into the best one on the market? In the meantime, take yourself on a holiday. Go see the world, and when you come back, you’ll have a better home to live in. Later, you’ll also have a better home to sell.


Can I afford the property?

Forget about the so-called “potentials” — potential population growth, potential capital gain, potential government initiatives … the list goes on. Every property has potentials. Anything could happen, it’s a matter of whether or not they will actually occur.

What you need to ask yourself is: if all the potential upsides do not eventuate, can I still afford to buy and hold?

If your answer is yes, then invest! Otherwise, you’d be speculating, which is also what I like to call gambling.

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