Buying Real Estate Part 7 - The Importance of Inspections
Doing your Research
Real estate is a very valuable asset. In fact, your home might just be the most valuable asset you will ever purchase.
This means it's important to perform the necessary due diligence to ensure it's in good condition before you sign the contract of sale.
At the same time, you'll also want to make sure the home is a perfect fit for your lifestyle.
Attending an open inspection gives you the opportunity to scout out the neighbourhood and determine if it's a good fit for you.
When you go to an open inspection, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself as you walk around and get a feel of the area.
- Is it is a safe neighbourhood?
- Is it a busy area? Check if the traffic noise spills into the house.
- Is it a tight-knit community?
- Are the neighbours next door renting?
- Where's the nearest hospital or medical centre?
- Is there adequate public transport? Parking?
- Are there parks and other public spaces nearby?
- In which school zone does this property sit? Where's the nearest school?
Don't be afraid to ask any neighbours what they think of the area. They may even provide you with some advice on schools, amenities or things to watch out for.
When you attend an open inspection, you're not just looking through the home to see if you like the interior. You'll need to perform a more detailed examination of the property to see if it's in a good condition and worth the asking price!
It might be a good idea to take someone with you, such as a partner or friend, to get another perspective. Take a camera with you so you can review photos of the home later on. Don't forget to ask the agent for permission before taking any snapshots!
Here are our handy checklists to help you at the open for inspections. Click here of our House Checklist and click here for our Apartment Checklist
Questions to Ask the Agent
The real estate agent is there to help you make a decision. Don't be afraid to ask them any questions you might have about the property or the area. Here are some essentials you might want to ask:
- Is the property dry and warm?
- Is it insulated?
- How much are council rates?
- Does the property have any special restrictions?
- Are there potential zoning changes in the future?
You might also want to bring up any questions you may have missed when you bought your last home. Think back and try to remember questions you forgot to ask your agent.
If the property you're looking at is a unit or apartment, there are other pertinent questions you should ask:
- Does the body corporate allow pets?
- What are the strata fees?
- Does the body corporate allow barbecues and other outdoor events at the property?
- Is there car parking provided in the building?
If you're serious about making an offer on the home, it's highly advisable you conduct a professional property inspection.
There are many professional services you can use to have a proper inspection performed on the home. These services can pick up problems you may have missed, such as structural or plumbing issues.