Looking to snap up a property without inspecting it first? Follow our tips to make sure you’re not landed with a lemon.
On the hunt for your perfect property? With median values trending high in many state capitals, there are some pretty compelling reasons to consider buying interstate. Here’s what you need to consider if you’re looking to sign on the dotted line for a hot listing you haven’t actually seen.
Know your goals
For future owner occupiers, think long and hard about your property wish-list so you can understand whether a potential property meets your needs. The floorplan, age of the building and commuting distance are just some of the things that will guide you towards finding that dream home from a distance.
For investors, it’s more about your financial and strategic goals. Are you looking for long term returns? Then you’ll need to focus on properties with better prospects for capital gain. More of a flip and win investor? Knowing the target market and turnover for different properties will matter more.
Know the property
No matter what kind of buyer you are, it’s essential to know the condition of any property you consider. Getting a building and pest inspection is pretty standard practice but you’ll need to really put your report under the microscope. These reports are designed to indemnify them in case of future problems with the property in questions. So it may be worth having a frank conversation with the inspector to get the real low down on your potential purchase.
Know the neighbourhood
Local intelligence on the neighbourhood where you might buy is just as valuable. For investors, it’s critical to gather knowledge about local demographics, infrastructure and amenities that could affect capital growth and rental return.
These factors are also important if you’re buying to live – noise from a flight path, or a new building complex that will change your view and access to on-street parking are definitely worth knowing about in advance. And depending on your situation, you might also take a keen interest in local school zones, location of parks and playgrounds, shops and cafes.
Bring in the professionals
Calling in expert help to get your research done fast could make all the difference to securing a quick and successful buy.
You’ll need to have your budget all worked out so you can be ready to make an offer. Speaking to an accredited broker can help you determine what you can afford.
Property laws, council requirements and costs associated with your purchase – such as stamp duty – vary from state to state so you’ll need the detailed, relevant expertise of a local conveyancer or solicitor.
Buyer’s agents can be a goldmine of important local knowledge for a remote purchase – from high crime and vacancy rates to the latest sold prices for similar properties. They can also save you from hours spent trawling through listings and inspecting Google maps and streetview perspectives for each one.
Although real estate agents represent sellers, most buyers do become sellers eventually. If you’re new to the area they may be keen to make a good impression by helping with local information about the market and properties you’re looking at.
Does it really add up?
If you’re buying to invest, it can actually be to your advantage to buy based on what you know about a property rather than seeing it for yourself. Your decision is really about getting a healthy return on your investment and lifestyle factors and personal preferences can get in the way of making those choices. But if you’re buying a home, having a feel for a property and neighbourhood can be just too important to making the right decision.
In either case, it pays to remember that property is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. So the cost of an airfare may be a small price to pay for making the right decision for your finances and lifestyle.
Have you thought about buying property unseen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.