Property prices have increased considerably over the past 18 months, and as a result, more and more home buyers are finding themselves priced out of the house market. In this situation, getting the home of your dreams may seem difficult, but through proper and careful research of the property market, you can make the process a little easier.

Even if you are not facing budget constraints, you should thoroughly research the market to make sure the property you select gives you the best value for money.

Start by researching the market online. There are a number of real estate agencies sharing a wealth of information about your local housing market, and that too free of charge. All that you need to do is log onto the internet and enter your state and city. You can be more specific by selecting the area where you are interested in living.

You should also look at the property advertised in your local newspaper as well as in the weekly and monthly property magazines. This will give you a good idea of the asking price of the houses up for sale in the area.

Taking a drive around the areas you are interested in living can also help you scout favorable properties. People usually put “For Sale” boards in their front garden or windows. Look at the types of houses that are open for sale and note down the contact numbers of owners of the houses that you like. Take a note of the facilities that are nearby, such as hospitals, shopping arcades etc. Distance to the nearest transport hub is also an important consideration.

You should also contact a few estate agents in the area to find out what kind of properties they are selling and how the average rates go.

After all this research, take your time to work out the complete picture of the house market in the area. Once you have applied for the mortgage, it is time to contact a reputable and experienced estate agent. You will need to list your requirements, expectations and budget for the estate agent to find you suitable properties.

Remember, when sharing your price range you should be a little flexible, especially in the real estate market. Buyers have the opportunity to negotiate in a slowing market, so you can afford to look at houses which exceed your budget somewhat. However, you should never compromise on the location. Bear in mind the prime principle of property buying – a smaller property in a better location holds its value better than a bigger one in a less desirable area.

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