Inspections and valuations
As a first home buyer, you’ll soon develop a feel for the housing market in the areas or suburbs you’re focusing on by comparing sale prices of different properties. A number of immediate factors will influence the sale price of a property including the size, the location and whether it's been recently renovated.
More indirect things that impact the price of a home include the current economic climate (including interest rates, employment levels and consumer confidence), the level of supply and demand for similar properties in the area, and recent sales for similar properties in the suburb.
As much as people talk about property being a wise investment, buying a home is an emotional purchase for most people. Love at first sight can happen – but you also have to be careful not to be led astray by emotional factors. So think of each inspection like a first date. The seller and the agent will be trying hard to make a good first impression, but you can get an idea of the real value of a home from certain sales practices and other clues to look out for.
What to look out for when inspecting a home
- Covered-up smells: Filling a home with pleasant fragrances such as fresh flowers can make a property more inviting. But fresh scents can also hide costly problems such as rising damp. To help see through such home-selling tricks, arrange a pre-purchase building inspection.
- Small areas of fresh paint: To boost the selling price, sellers may carry out cosmetic renovations prior to sale. Sometimes a new coat of paint can cover up more sinister problems like termites or damp. A pest inspection might be in order.
- Timing inspections for natural light: Natural light is a key point of appeal for many buyers, and real estate agents may arrange home inspections to coincide with times when a home receives maximum sunlight. To get a better idea of whether an interior could receive poor natural light – or on the other hand become too hot in the afternoon – arrange to visit at different times.
- Home staging: If the place looks more like a high-end hotel suite than a lived-in home, chances are it’s been professionally staged. Home staging, a growing trend in real estate, is designed to show off a home in its best light, with clever selection and arrangement of furniture to make it seem brighter and more spacious. To overcome this practice, visualise your own furniture in the property rather than focusing on the rented pieces.
Property valuations are an important part of the home buying process. They’re organised by your lender, utilising the services of a qualified valuer, when you’re ready to purchase a property. It’s a safety net for your lender so they don’t loan you more than your property’s worth. Valuations can also give you an indication of the value of the asset you are about to purchase.
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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