Working out where to buy

It’s worth understanding the different types of homes available to purchase, assessing what home will suit your needs and what you can afford to buy.

Researching location

It’s important that you spend time researching the area you want to buy in, so you can decide which location is right for you and your situation. 

From there, you can settle on what kind of property to buy. Options include existing houses or apartments, off-the-plan units, townhouses or even vacant land.

There are many online tools offering data and insights about suburbs, individual properties and the housing market. The search tools available through the government are either free or low cost, but you’ll generally have to pay for services offered through private companies.

Valuation Portal

The NSW Valuer General Valuation Portal is a government service where you can search land values and property sales information for free.

CITEC Confirm

NSW Land Registry Services has authorised CITEC Confirm as a property information broker. You can pay to search their list of databases to retrieve information, including: 

  • national land titles, plans, dealings and instruments
  • national property settlement and manual services
  • national telecommunications cable search
  • electronic contract of sale and duties returns
  • land tax clearance certificates 

You can use the CITEC Confirm service when you’re buying or selling land as well as purchasing, selling or renovating a home.

Property Value

CoreLogic is a leading private property data company that has a free service called Property Value. You can use it to access broad insights around suburb and area profiles as well as median home prices.

Residex

CoreLogic has another online service called Residex where you can download a report containing detailed suburb information including:

  • median value of properties in an area
  • number of people living in an area
  • number of properties within a suburb

You are limited to accessing 2 free reports per month.

Home Price Guide

The Domain Group has a free service called Home Price Guide which gives you the selling history of a building, street or suburb as well as estimating prices for homes.

Looking for homes

Finding the right home is one of the most important steps in the property buying process. You need to find a property that matches your budget and lifestyle.

Most people start their search with online property sites or through local real estate agents. Websites like Domain or realestate.com.au will show you what is on the market and give you insight into what homes have sold in a location.

Alternatively, you can find individual homes for sale in the property section of many newspapers.

Another idea to consider is attending home auctions in the area you want to buy. This can give you a realistic picture of how much properties are going for compared to the advertised price.