Be smart with home buying options.

To save time when house-hunting and to avoid property pitfalls, it pays to refine your search. Choose just a few suburbs and a type of house or apartment you like. Then set up alerts on property websites so you know about new listings as soon as they come onto the open market.

It's also smart to learn what can drive house prices up or down, so when you're looking at a property, you know what to look for to assess its value and desirability. Take a look below.


Location has a huge impact on property prices. Here are some of the key factors that make homes cheaper or more expensive.

Pushes prices up:

  • Closer to town or transport links
  • Sought after school zones
  • High value suburbs
  • Low crime rate
  • Larger city with more amenities.

Drives prices down:

  • Further from the city centre and public transport
  • Less sought after school zones
  • Lower value suburbs
  • High crime rate
  • Smaller town with fewer amenities
  • Fewer job opportunities.

Type of house

Is it a do-up or is the home ready to move in and enjoy? Depending on the type of house, it can impact the price it might sell for.

Pushes prices up:

  • A newer, more energy efficient home
  • A home that's ready to move into
  • A larger house with more bedrooms and bathrooms
  • An attractive character home
  • A home with better design and presentation.

Drives prices down:

  • An older, high maintenance home
  • A home that needs renovating to bring it up to date
  • A smaller home or apartment
  • A home with less street appeal
  • Clutter, dirt and poor design
  • Weather tightness issues (leaky homes).


Gardens add value and increase the purchase price.

Pushes prices up:

  • A subdividable section
  • A large garden
  • A landscaped low-maintenance garden.

Drives prices down:

  • An overrun, poorly maintained garden
  • No garden or outdoor space.


Make sure you know what kind of title the property is on and whether any work has been consented.

Pushes prices up:

  • Freehold fee simple title
  • All the work done on the property has consents.

Drives prices down:

  • Cross lease title
  • Unit title
  • Unconsented work.


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Westpac's home loan lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. A low equity margin may apply.