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Experts offer their advice to Sydney’s first-home buyers

It seems that first-home buyers might be trickling back into the Sydney market, with recent ABS figures showing first-home buyer mortgage commitments are edging higher.

But as $650,000 won’t buy you much in Sydney, those new entrants looking to avoid stamp duty need to put careful consideration into where and what they buy.

In a softening market, buyers are increasingly concerned about long-term performance, said buyers agent John Carew from Mayfield Property Buyers

“Twelve to 24 months ago, it was really rare that a first-home buyer was really concerned about the investment potential of the area,” he explained.

“They just wanted to get in. But now, they’re being a bit more careful. We’re seeing it across the market as a whole.”

One bedroom v two bedroom apartments – which is better for the first home buyer?

It’s a tricky proposition for the first time buyer – faced with a steep entry point, especially in Sydney’s inner suburbs, is it worth stretching the budget even further to get a second bedroom?

According to Domain Group data, two-bedroom apartments cost an average of 13 per cent more across Sydney, although this can vary depending on the suburb.

In Sydney’s south and south-west, an extra bedroom will cost you 14 per cent more, while in the inner west and northern beaches, you can expect to pay an extra 30 per cent. In the city and east, a second bedroom will increase the price by a whopping 49 per cent.

A second bedroom is not just about having space, either, as the extra room can help earn its keep through rent, or by making an apartment easier to sell when the time comes to upgrade.


Jargon demystified: What most commonly confused real estate terms really mean

Don’t know your strata from your company title, or if you can change your mind about the house you’re buying?

You’re not the only one. According to industry experts, many buyers aren’t clear on what a lot of the real estate jargon thrown around actually means.

So here’s a rundown of some of the most common property misconceptions.

1. What is the buyer’s guide at an auction?

Buyer’s agent Michelle May said many NSW house hunters didn’t understand why properties could sell above the price guide.


FOMO is out, FOOP is in: How to avoid paying too much when buying your new home

As the Sydney market slows down and Melbourne comes off the boil, house hunters are finding themselves on a more level playing field.

But with more stock coming onto the market and the investor ranks thinning, buyers are no longer forced to the very top of their budget.

Several experts have reported a “fear of overpaying” (or FOOP) replacing the fear of missing out. So how can a buyer avoid paying too much for a home in a cooling market?

Work out what a property is really worth

Buyers agent Michelle May cited the fear of overpaying as a major cause of anxiety. “The buyers out there are actually missing out on good properties because they don’t know what to pay,” she said. “They’re scared to pay too much.”


Real estate agents in Sydney’s inner west fined for underquoting

Real estate agents in Sydney’s inner west have been fined more than $66,000 for breaching the law after being caught out in a crackdown by the NSW Department of Fair Trading.

Of the 37 agents visited in the area, 27 – more than 70 per cent – were discovered to be non-compliant, according to a statement from the Minister of Better Regulation Matt Kean.

Nineteen of the agents in breach of the law were fined for underquoting. Agents were found to be “pitching expected sales prices far below the final value, or failing to provide mandatory written records on the expected price,” Mr Kean said.

The agents targeted for inspection were in the suburbs of Ashfield, Burwood, Canterbury, Croydon Park, Drummoyne, Dulwich Hill, Five Dock, Leichhardt, Marrickville, Newtown, Petersham, Strathfield and Summer Hill.

The government declined to name the agencies that were fined.


How to tell if your property is A-grade, B-grade or C-grade, and why it’s critical when selling

In a softening market, property experts often talk about about how ‘A-grade’ properties are still selling well, but ‘C-grade’ properties might be struggling.

But what’s the difference between these grades, and are A-grade properties really downturn-proof?

What is an A-grade property?

Sydney buyers’ agent John Carew, from Mayfield Property Buyers, said people often assumed all A-grade properties were in the $5 million-plus price bracket in Sydney.

“It’s not true,” he said. “Every price bracket has an A-grade property equivalent.”


John Carew: Director and Buyer's Agent

john carew hunters hill propertyI purchased my first property in Newtown in my early twenties and quickly learnt the benefits of building a property portfolio.

What initially started as a smart investment decision soon lead to a professional career; as I had untapped a passion and found my calling! I quickly left behind my banking career to pursue the property industry for good.


"I’ve always barracked for the underdog and it frustrated me that many people (including close friends and family members), where being easily mislead and were paying too much; or just making wrong decisions because they were exhausted after looking at properties for months, sometimes years on end with nothing to show for it."


I uncovered that not only did I love buying property, but I loved working with others to build a property portfolio too; and that’s when Mayfield Property Buyers was born!

I wanted to show others there was an easier way to buying property. I wanted to empower buyers to make smarter decisions by having an expert in their corner.

After all, the vendor has a real estate agent working for them, so it just made sense that a property buyer should have an unbiased adviser to provide real estate advice too.

I knew that with my highly attuned analytical skills, my relaxed calm composure and my nerves of steel that I could negotiate properties for the right price, and help others to make smarter decisions when buying property.

When I'm not at a property viewing, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 3 young boys at my home in Gladesville, Sydney.

If I'm not bidding at auctions or helping a couple downsize, you can find me visiting the family farm, hitting the snowy slopes or enjoying a crisp ale while cheering on my favourite rugby team - the NSW Waratahs!

When you engage Mayfield Property Buyers you can be assured that my service is discreet and confidential. I know this is just one of the reasons why many of my clients are happy to refer me to their friends and family too.

Call John on 0410 545 721.

"I love property and I am a real people person and the two are a natural fit. I could see how hard many family and friends were finding it to purchase in the market hearing countless stories of people overpaying or just missing out because of dishonest agents.

I love helping people get a great deal when they buy a property. Sellers get a professional, so should a buyer. I am a hard negotiator and someone who values my client’s money as if it were my own.”

"Whether you want my expertise to help you with auction bidding, or you need a lot more care and guidance with our end-to-end solution, I am here to support you every step of the way."

Let Mayfield Property Buyers save you time, money and stress when buying your next home. Contact Mayfield Property Buyers today.

How We Can Help You With Your Next Property Purchase...

Mayfield Property Sydney buyers agentWhether buying your first home or hunting for your next investment property, we empower buyers with the ‘right’ real estate advice to make smarter property buying decisions.

Sydney’s property market can be vicious at times so you need to move fast.  You need to know the property’s true value without letting emotion, or the fear of missing out, cloud your judgement.

And that is where we step in and help you:

  • Understand the true value of a property
  • Educate and empower you to feel confident in your purchasing decisions
  • Recognise local market trends, predict price fluctuations and secure below market opportunities
  • Unlock private and off-market property listings
  • Confidently negotiate the best price
  • Make smarter decisions for your family and your lifestyle
  • Build a property portfolio that secures your financial future.

Mayfield Property Buyers have a remarkable understanding of Sydney’s complex property market. Our intimate knowledge comes from analysing hundreds of properties and from being active in the  Inner West, Upper and Lower North Shore, Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs and Gladesville and Hunters Hill areas of Sydney.

I nurture my relationships with clients and want you to know that I value your money as though it were more valuable than my own.

When you engage me as your buyer's agent, I listen to what is most important to you and provide unbiased advice specifically tailored to your needs.

As your property buyer, I want you to know that I am buying a property with you, not for you.

Ready to find out more? Get started today!

Do you have the time and expertise to do it all yourself? We do!