good and bad homebuying
Buyers want to be near public transport – but not have mould in the house. Image – Canva.
  • 49% had 'affordability' as their top criteria in house hunting
  • Public transport and nearness to shops were also high on the list
  • 51% said they would be immediately turned off if a property had damp or mould

Finder has released its First Home Buyers Report 2021 revealing what first home buyers are seeking when searching homes… both the good and the bad.

Nationally, 49% of buyers said their top criteria was whether they could afford the property. Proximity to public transport was high up on the list with 45% of New South Wales buyers and 44% of Victorians prioritising this, although, at 28%, it is far less important than price.

Being near shops or a high street, in an area with low crime and the expectation that the value in that area would increase are also priorities.

On the downside, the main thing that puts buyers off is if it contains damp or mould (51% of respondents put this top of their list of hates). Signs of insects and noisy neighbours would also turn off 41% and 38% of buyers respectively.

Advice – get creative

1,028 first home buyers were surveyed with Richard Whitten, home loans expert at Finder, saying that house-hunters should ‘get creative’ with potential deal-breakers they may face.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Richard Whitten, Finder

Mr Whitten encouraged all buyers to arrange for inspections prior to buying, including for auctions. While this may seem obvious, a survey conducted by the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) revealed that 30% of buyers would take the risk of purchasing a property without inspecting it in person.

“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,” he said.

“If you’re buying a property via a private sale 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.”

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