Whether you’re buying your first home, upgrading, or looking for an investment property, a few handy hints can always be helpful, especially if they save you a little money on the purchase price.
What has it sold for previously?
Do some research into what the home has sold for in the past. It will give you an idea of what you should be paying and how property prices in the area have changed over time. Also, if the asking price is significantly higher than the previous purchase price the owners could just be taking a shot at a higher price, so you could haggle them down.
What is rent like in the area?
Whether you’re planning on living in the home briefly, long-term, or it’s a straight-up investment, at some point you might want to put it up for rent. See what the rental prices are like for similar homes in the area. This gives you some idea of your future prospects, perspective on the home’s value, and unusually low rents can let you know there are other problems in the area.
Visit the house at different times
A Real Estate agent will generally show you a house in the most flattering light they can, that includes the time of day too. Make sure you visit a house you’re thinking of buying at a few different times throughout the day and night. See if street traffic is particularly bad and noisy during peak hour, does it get exceptionally hot in the middle of the day, and what are the neighbours and neighbourhood in general like at night?
Who remembers the floods that hit Brisbane in 1974 and again in 2011? What about Hawkesbury River and Sydney in 1986, Katherine River in 1998, Hunter Valley in 2007… in all of these cases, there were thousands of homes damaged. Australia is a flood-prone country, so it makes sense when buying a house to consider the risk of flooding. Most at-risk areas will have information about swell areas and data on previous flood levels.
Building & pest inspections
In most Australian states you cannot buy an existing property without a building report performed by a licenced inspector. Even in states where it’s not required, you should still get a report from a licenced, reputable inspector. Unless you’re a builder there’s a chance you could be missing something important; such as dodgy renovations, termites or even costly structural problems.
Buying a home can be a lengthy process – making offers, awaiting responses, settlement dates and other delays. You already know your price range before you start looking, so why not apply for finance first? You can get conditionally approved for a home loan so when you find the right place you can make an offer right away, without risking hefty fees in the unfortunate event you need to rescind the offer. You may also be able to snap up a great home for a lower price before other buyers beat you to the punch.
Talk to us at Finance Ezi about how we can make buying a new home… well, easy.