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What first home buyers want and don’t want


Homeowners should be wary of common property pitfalls before putting their house on the market, according to new research by Finder.

According to Finder’s First Home Buyers Report 2021, which surveyed 1,028 first home buyers, more than half (51%) would shun a house with mould, while 2 in 5 (41%) would reject a property if it showed signs of insects.

Unpleasant smells (38%) and noisy neighbours (38%) are also major no-gos for prospective buyers.

Richard Whitten, home loans expert at Finder, urged those hunting for property to get creative when faced with potential deal breakers.

“If you can think outside the box to remedy the issue, this could be a way to pick up a bargain property because demand might be low.

“You could reduce noise by installing soundproofing or install a skylight to improve natural light.

“High fences or plants could also help with soundproofing or privacy,” he said.

Whitten encouraged prospective first time buyers to arrange for inspections prior to buying.

“Getting pest and building inspections is a wise step for home buyers. It gives you peace of mind and a better understanding of the property you're buying.

“If you're buying a property via a private sale (that is, not by auction) then you can often make the contract subject to inspections.

“If you're buying at auction, however, you need to arrange these inspections prior to auction day.

“If you're buying a strata property like a unit, then you will want to get a strata report. This contains essential information about the entire complex and should contain a record of past issues, if any,” Whitten said.

When it comes to what excites first home buyers the most, a location that’s within budget is the top priority for 49% of Aussies.

While first home buyers in NSW (45%) and VIC (44%) are prioritising proximity to public transport, this was much less important to buyers in QLD (28%).

A low crime rate (25%) and the expectation that property prices will rise in that area (25%) is important to 1 in 4 first home buyers.

What features would immediately turn you off buying a property?

Feature% of first home buyers
Signs of insects41%
Noisy neighbours38%
Unpleasant smells (e.g. from smoking indoors)38%
Lack of natural light35%
Untidy rooms19%
Evidence of pets/pet smell18%
Outdated interior12%
None of the above3%

What are the top criteria that you used/are using to choose the location of your property?

I can afford it47%48%49%49%54%49%
Proximity to public transport45%44%28%38%37%40%
Proximity to shops/high street31%30%23%27%28%29%
Low crime rate/safety22%22%32%33%23%25%
I expect property prices to increase in value in that area23%24%25%27%27%25%

Hoping to enter the market? Check out our tips for first home buyers or compare low deposit home loans.

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