Buyer Tips

Comparing Homes: Making Decisions Between Several Property Options

Comparing Homes: Making Decisions Between Several Property Options

If you have two or more homes that you are interested in purchasing, but are struggling to decide between them, you’re not alone.

Many home buyers that we help to find their next property have a range of potential options and struggle to decide between those on their shortlist.

While it can be difficult to choose the home that is perfect for you, and it is a very personal decision with no hard and fast rules you should decide by, there are some ways to make the process a little easier.

Checklists and tick boxes

The first way to quickly decide between homes is to create a checklist of attributes that are important to you in a home and to rank them based on how crucial they are. With this checklist in hand, either at the inspection or when you are giving the home some thought, you can go through and mark off the attributes.

This provides a clinical and methodical way to compare many properties and to keep details about the homes available. You can also take photographs on your phone to  jog your memory when comparing them.  It’s important to ask your agent for permission to do this.

With this checklist, you can see whether your more desirable attributes and home features are absent in certain homes and you will remember to look for crucial factors that you might have overlooked on the day. Either way, it will get you thinking about the home in a different way.

Common checklist items you can consider include:

  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Kitchen – size and functionality
  • Quality of the finishes (ranked 1 to 10)
  • Single or double garage? Or carport?
  • North aspect
  • Open plan living areas
  • Walk ability to local amenities
  • Quiet street

Make sure to have in mind what your ideal home would look like based on this checklist, as well as the ideal home of anyone else involved in purchasing.

Get a second opinion

While the final decision is ultimately in your hands, it never hurts to get a second opinion when you are unsure about your options. Find someone you trust, who knows what you are looking for, and explain to them your difficulty. Then ask them to come to an inspection with you. Close friends, parents, siblings, colleagues and even acquaintances with property experience can be worth seeking out for their help.

Make sure you do not sway your companion’s thoughts with your comments either way and allow them to come to their own conclusion about the home and its value for money. When they have made up their mind, ask them to be honest about the homes and which one they thought would suit you better.

You may be surprised with what they say, and your response to their conclusions may also come as a shock. If you find yourself heavily defending the property they did not favour or making excuses as to why you aren’t so keen on their preferred home, then you may have already subconsciously decided the property you should buy.

In some situations, it can also be worth speaking to a professional to ask for their opinion on the property. This could be a buyer’s agent or financial planner, who may need to look at the “numbers” of the property – such as its potential rental yield and capital gain – to come to a conclusion.

Make sure to listen carefully to their opinions, but to remember that no one can know your situation as well as you do.

Consider the home’s potential

The future possibilities of the home could be the make or break that helps you make up your mind. While the home may be a good option now, areas and homes are fast changing in growing cities. Speak to the real estate agent about any upcoming changes in the areas, such as new transport connections or developments.

You should also consider the future upside of the home itself. Is it likely to grow in value? Can you renovate it to add value down the track? Would you be able to rent the home out if you had to? Even homes that seem identical today can have vastly different futures.

Understanding the potential of a property in the future may be the factor that makes it stand out from the rest of the pack.