Here are some quick tips on how to tackle a competitive property market and find your home:

Shift your focus.

Everyone has an ideal location in their mind for a home.  However, sometimes this is unachievable, due to property availability and cost restrictions.  You should consider moving beyond your area of focus to other suburbs and regions to somewhere you haven’t considered before

Some areas outside of cities & towns can provide good value for money and offer a great first step into the market.

Do you really need five bathrooms?

If you have your heart set on a particular area, you may have to reconsider your needs versus your wants in a property and look at smaller homes.  Considering an apartment or a smaller house that you can add to over time is a great first step.  It also gives you and asset for when you are ready to move into something larger.

Bring out the diamond from the rough.

Everyone has aspirations of buying their first home and picturing it being “perfect”.  However, a good alternative is to look at properties that are dated or in need of renovation, as they can be a cheaper option.

It is important to find something that is structurally sound but could use your help in its appearance and practicality.  Adding some paint here and there to improve the look and then renovate as your budget allows.

Buy to live or buy to invest?

Smaller towns and rural areas need rental properties so they can provide constant rental returns.  In these areas, the properties are usually less expensive and therefore much less impact on loan repayments.

The biggest benefit of a positively geared property is that a tenant repays your loan while you build equity. This allows you to sell the property later and use the proceeds as a deposit on a property closer to where you want to live.  So it could be worth considering an investment in property for your long term gain of being able to live in your choice of property.