Checklist for buying a house
What to look for in a property
When you're thinking of buying a property, your requirements will vary depending on your personal circumstances and on the sort of property you wish to buy.
You may be looking for a family home,a "sea change" property or a holiday home. Once you have found the property of your dreams, you may want to pause for a while and reflect before making an offer or signing on the dotted line.
Consider the following buying a property checklist:
- Before you decide on anything do you have your loan approved?
- Will you enjoy living in the neighbourhood?
- Is the house sound? If you have any doubts at all, hire building and pest inspectors to check
- Is it in an area likely to hold resale value or benefit from capital growth?
- Are there any long-term costs or issues such as body corporate fees, jointly owned driveways?
- What type of Title is the property? Is it Torrens Title, Company Title, Strata Title, or some other? Ask your solicitor to advise on the Title
- Does the entire house, including alterations, have the required Council permits?
- Is it built for the climate? Is it insulated? Will it be warm in winter, cool in summer?
- Have you asked your local council about planning issues like the possibility of any big developments planned or construction of new roads nearby?
- If big changes are needed to make the property comfortable, then it's a good idea to know the costs before you make an offer
- Is the house and land suitable for your stage in life - are there too many stairs, is the garden too steep?
Then think about the detail:
- Does the house have enough bedrooms?
- Are you happy with the garden - or its potential?
- Will you have good access to the facilities you need such as schools, doctor, medical centres and shops?
- Are there enough bathrooms?
- Is there enough garage space? Is the garage accessible from inside the house?
- Will you have problems with traffic or noise?
- Is the kitchen serviceable?
- Is it safe for your family, eg children,the elderly or disabled?
- Is it suitable for pets?
- Are you happy with the building's security?
- Check under the house - is it dry?
- Is the block well drained?
- For "sea and tree change" properties or holiday properties:
Buying in a rural or coastal area?
You may also wish to consider other practical issues, such as:
- Is there a good water supply?
- Is there any risk of flooding or erosion?
- How much maintenance work will you need to do - or pay someone else to do?
- Are you likely to be bothered by nearby farming or orchard work?
- Are there any industries in the area that could affect you?
- Will you still have easy access to your family, friends, work and recreation?
- What will be the long term impact of corrosive sea air?