Inspections and valuations
When you find the home that you’d like to buy, allow some time for a thorough inspection – and tap into the support of experts, who can help you pick up on key details that may be easy to overlook.
Buying a home can be an emotional purchase, and while love at first sight can happen, you need to be sure the property is right for you.
The more time you invest inspecting a home, the more you can be sure that it suits your needs. Aim to inspect the property on different days and at various times. This will let you see how much natural light flows into the home throughout the day, and whether the interior gets uncomfortably hot or cold, as well as the level of neighbourhood noise.
Don’t be blindsided by the owner’s furnishings particularly if the interior has been professionally staged. High end furniture and accessories can be a sign of home staging, so rather than focus on what could be rented pieces, consider how your own furniture will look in the property.
Professional services – build a team
Gathering a team of experts, who provide various professional services, can help you be more confident that you won’t have to deal with unexpected surprises after you sign the contract of sale.
Here are a few of the professional services worth embracing – and those that aren’t so critical.
Conveyancer – your legal representative
Conveyancing refers to the process of transferring the ownership (or ‘title’) of your new home into your name. It can be undertaken by a solicitor or conveyancer, but having a legal representative lined up before you find a place to buy makes sense. It is important to have an expert review the sale contract before you sign it, and your legal rep can explain the terms of the contract and alert you to any unusual conditions.
Pest and building inspection
Homes offered for sale tend to be presented in the best possible light. It’s up to you to look for any telltale signs that the owner may be trying to cover up some flaws.
Blooms of flowers and scented oils can fill a home with lovely fragrances that make it more inviting. However, they can also cover up costly problems such as rising damp.
Similarly, be wary of small areas of fresh paint. Owners often spruce up their home with a fresh coat of paint prior to sale. However, isolated patches of new paint can mask sinister issues including wall cracks, termite activity or mould.
Organising a pre-purchase pest and building inspection can help you see through these home-selling tricks, and alert you to any problems that could see you lumbered with expensive repair bills.
Inspections for apartments
If you’re buying an apartment, instead of a pest and building report it’s often recommended to get a strata report to ensure the building and its funds are all in good shape, and that there are no planned works coming up that you may have to foot the bill for. Checking by-laws for the building will also help you work out if pets or BBQs are allowed, which may be important if you have a furry friend. Have a read through body corporate records too, and make sure you know exactly what your strata fees will be.
Arranging a valuation
Property valuations are an important part of the home buying process – but it’s not necessary for you to arrange a valuation yourself. Your lender will organise a valuation by a qualified valuer, when you’re ready to purchase a home. It’s a safety net for your lender so they don’t loan you more than your property’s worth.
With the necessary inspections and valuations of the property taken care of, you should have a clearer idea of exactly what you’re buying.
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- Chapter One : Getting started
- Chapter Two : Your dream home
- Chapter Three : Money matters
- Chapter Four : Ways to purchase
- Chapter Five : Understanding interest rates
- Chapter Six : Understanding home loans
- Chapter Seven : Lending sources
- Chapter Eight : Getting your loan
- Chapter Nine : Choosing a home
- Chapter Ten : Steps to settlement