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How to make a safe move in a slow market

Almost half of Queensland households have 2 or more spare bedrooms. That’s according to the ABS, who report an average of 2.6 people in each of our homes, but an average of 3.2 bedrooms. Occasionally someone sneaks away to the spare room to escape their partner’s snoring but what are we really doing with all those empty bedrooms?

How can we improve what the stats-makers call “housing mobility”, so growing families can get the space they need and downsizers can move more readily? The Henry Tax Review suggested canning stamp duties and the ACT is moving in that direction. But we’ve written before about Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (or “Norcs”) and the tendency for older residents to stay in their homes. Cost is an issue, but often the risk and uncertainty are major reasons to put up with less than ideal housing. And this isn’t just an issue for older households, with many of us simply putting a move in the ‘too hard’ basket.

Some common comments: I’d like to move but the market’s no good so I probably can’t sell. What if I sell and can’t find a suitable place to move to? How do I secure my choice of new home before I have the funds from my sale?

All valid questions, but there’s no reason a quieter market should stop your plans. Homes are selling across Brisbane’s inner-city and it’s not taking months to get a sale. Our average this year is 37 days on the market. The volume of housing stock on the market is still good so your choices as a buyer are broad. And yes you may need to sell for a price less than you might have achieved in 2009, but you’ll also be buying cheaper.

There’s also some very simple ways to avoid all the natural anxieties of the sell-buy move and fears of ending up homeless. Many home-sellers will accept a contract from you subject to the sale of your current place – provided it has the right protections for them too. Many of us have a perception that “bridging finance” will bankrupt you within weeks. But there are a number of options from the banks to manage the move that might surprise you with their affordability.

Next Wednesday, October 17th, we’re holding a brief information session to help answer some of your questions on making a safe move. We have a senior, independent mortgage broker speaking and we’ll share some tips on all the options open to you. It’s 6pm at our South Brisbane office and please RSVP as we only have a small venue. Email or call 3214 6800.