Buying a property is often the biggest investment you'll make. Our handy list of tips will help you find your ideal home.
Check out the neighbourhood
Once you’ve narrowed down where you want to live, make sure to check out what's happening in and around the area. Visit at different times and on different days to get a real feel for the environment and take a look at what development is going on. Do some research to find out if there are any plans which may affect the residents or property values, like a new school or retail development.
Take a careful look at the property
There‘s so more you need to consider than the number of bedrooms and bathrooms a property has. Look carefully at the property you’re interested in to assess its condition, and whether the owners have kept up with all the maintenance required. Here are some things to check:
Find out what building materials have been used, including for the exterior walls and roof.
Check the condition of the exterior walls, decks, piles, roof, gutters, spouting and drains.
Look at the size and condition of the garden and lawns. Will you have the time and/or money to keep it looking nice?
Investigate the level of insulation, ventilation, whether the windows are double-glazed and how the home is heated.
Look at the condition of the walls and ceilings, making sure to check for damp patches or discolouration. Don't forget to look behind furniture - it may have been placed there for a reason.
Is the carpet in good condition or will you need to replace it?
Make sure all doors and windows open and shut properly.
Check the cooking facilities, turn on all the lights and make sure the power points work (plus assess whether there are enough). If the home is connected to gas, check or turn on the outlets.
Turn on the taps and check the shower pressure, toilets and cisterns.
If you’re still serious about a property after having a look yourself, it pays to have a professional inspection done.
Do your homework
It’s important to seek independent legal advice before purchasing a property. The title, Land Information Memorandum (council LIM report) and other documents need to be checked. Find out if there is anything you need to be aware of, such as unconsented work, protected trees or a jointly owned driveway. You may also want to check out how much the rates are and if there are body corporate fees.