The importance of the term “buyer beware” cannot be stressed enough when buying a property as any problems it may have – whether they be structural or otherwise – can be a nightmare down the track.
Knowing that the house that you are buying is a good investment can be rather difficult – life is unpredictable, after all – but there are steps that you can take to reduce the risk of making a bad mistake.
While they can be construed as an expensive exercise (particularly if you have to do a lot of them in your house hunt), building and pest inspections are vital – as they will not only protect you in the long run, they can also assist with purchase negotiations. If you’re looking to purchase an apartment, a Strata Report will also be immensely valuable.
Make sure there are no creepy crawlies
Coming across the odd cockroach can be expected, but finding a infestation of cockroaches is something else. Imagine living in a house where you can hear them scuttling about at night. Or worse, imagine finding out that you have an infestation of termites after you have taken ownership of your house. The best way to deal with pest problems is to prevent them. Having a professional pest inspection conducted before you buy can help to identify any problems before you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ensure the house is structurally sound
While many houses will require some elbow grease, a new coat of paint, new flooring or other cosmetic improvements – they may still be a great buy. Having to hire tradespeople to rewire the electrical connections, re-stump the foundations or fix the plumbing may mean the house is not a good buy.
Check the strata
If you’re buying an apartment (or townhouse, villa which may be strata-titled), it pays to buy a strata report before buying. These reports can tell you a number of important details including whether the strata scheme is adequately insured, and whether there is any evidence of building or structural problems which may forewarn you of expenses down the track.
The report will also detail any regular or special levies charged by the Strata Scheme, and whether it has an adequate reserve of funds for any repairs which may be required.
Also, the report lets you know if you will be allowed to carry out any refurbishments down the track, can you keep a pet or subscribe to Foxtel.
And finally, a Strata Report will have a record of any disharmony between tenants, avoiding any sensational current affairs program-style neighbour disputes in the future.
All major cities and most towns would have a number of companies who provide any of these services. Do your research and find a good one in your area.