Unless you are a realtor yourself, buying a property is among the biggest decisions you will make in your life. There are months of preparation, stress, expectations and then finally the day when you’ll have the keys in your hands. However, before money changes hands, you want to make sure there won’t be any unpleasant surprises. In other words, you want to know what you are buying. These are the eight things you should check before making the final decision.
Scout the local area
According to data from Finder.com.au, 33 percent of first-time home buyers wish they had looked around more before purchasing their homes, and 22 per cent dislike the local area. The reasons vary from the rising crime rate to council restrictions on building extensions.
Driveway and street parking
Not many people think about this, at least not until they have to exit their beloved SUV through the hatch because the driveway is too narrow. While street parking usually isn’t an issue in suburbs and rural areas, there are townships with strange rules regarding leaving cars in front of the house overnight. Make sure to ask about it.
The house orientation
The position of the house on its lot affects how much natural light each room gets, as well as the heating and cooling bills. In Australia, a south-facing home will be bright only if the living space is in the back of the house, while a north-facing house will maximise the natural light.
Visit the house at different times
While it’s easy to rush ahead if there are other buyers at the table, try to visit the property several times on different days. The lovely location right next to a beautiful park can be a big perk. But if the same park serves as a venue for children’s playing sessions, you can say goodbye to the peaceful life you’ve hoped for.
Meet the neighbours
Knocking on your prospective neighbour’s door to have a chat is a natural course of events. Apart from getting valuable feedback on the area, you can assess the people you might be living next to for a very long time. And while all things must pass, a bad neighbour can make you regret buying the house.
Check out the best loan
Amongst all the things involving house inspection, you need to make sure you find the best loan in order to be able to buy the house you want. Usually people don’t have enough money so they turn to different sources in order to make sure that their budget will cover the cost of their dream home. You can always turn to helpful resources such as Rateseeker that will allow you to compare different loan options and calculate the costs.
Zoning in the area
Checking the zoning in the area will tell you if the property next to you is zoned for high-rise units or a commercial building you don’t want to live near. Would it be a deal breaker if you found out that a seven-storey unit block is about to rise over the back fence? The zoning plan can give you some hints about whether something like that is possible in the near future.
Is that a pigeon-hole?
When inspecting a house, make sure to check the roof. If it is caving in or can be recognized from afar by a few suspicious holes, chances are that it will cost you dearly. On the other hand, a new roof can mean a lower homeowners insurance rate. A roof made of sturdier materials is more capable of shaking off the potential wind and hail.
Inspect environmental hazards
Any known environmental hazards can impact the insurance rate as well as property value. Examine if the area is prone to flooding or bushfires. Even if the city has great tap water, your pipes might be old, so you could end up with more than just water in your glass. Hire a company that specializes in environmental consulting to inspect the property for mould, asbestos and lead.
Even if there are some cosmetic changes in waiting, try to avoid costly repairs. While some issues can be repaired, there are conditions that neither you nor the previous owner can change. Good hunting!