You’ve just got your pre-approval and know how much you can afford to spend. After spending half a day on the real estate websites, you’ve finally got a shortlist of properties you like. Before rushing to your first house inspection, there are a few more things you need to think through.
Every state has disclosure laws that require the vendor to tell you some of the potential pitfalls of the property. These laws aren’t comprehensive so consider the following when you’re inspecting your dream house.
1. The Basics
Before visiting a property, think about the practical things that you want in a property. Will you be living in it or will you be renting it out? The wish list for a home and for an investment property will be quite different. Eg: if it’s your home, you will want it suit your family and lifestyle but if it’s going to be a rental property, you’ll find it to suit your ideal tenants’ family and their lifestyle .You probably won’t get everything on your wish list in one house, so split the list into ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. Some things can be added later, but there’s no point buying a house that’s missing a much-needed bathroom because you fell in love with a cosy reading nook.
Be realistic about how much work the property will need. A large block requires some serious investment if it isn’t going to return to the wild, and older properties always need more attention than new builds. Overhanging trees might provide blissful shade, but they also come with an increased workload in autumn when the gutters fill up.
If you’re buying a place with an eye to extending or subdividing, you need to be very careful. Many councils have restrictions on development in order to preserve the character of the suburb you’ve fallen in love with. You don’t want to find yourself stuck in a shoebox with a growing family because the local regulations forbid a second storey.
Look at the neighbouring properties to get a sense of what’s allowed. If none of the blocks are smaller than yours, chances are you won’t get permission for a subdivision. To be sure, check with the council about specific restrictions.
Of course, some councils aren’t so restrictive, which can cause other problems. If your next-door neighbour is an all-hours nightclub or an electric substation, you’ll want to consider that and possibly take a few steps back. A quiet night’s sleep may be worth spending some extra time and care to secure the right location.
4. Building inspection
No matter what the agent has told you, or how new the property is, a building inspection is a must. A building inspection report is sometimes referred to as a pre-purchase property inspection report.
An inspector will check for structural damage, damp issues, compliance problems and anything else that might prove to be a headache down the track. While building inspectors should also identify damage caused by termites, a building inspection is separate to a pest inspection.
Always use a qualified building inspector, such as a licensed builder or surveyor. Ask any potential inspectors what their qualifications are and whether they carry insurance. Also ask what the report will include – is it a standard report, or a more-expensive comprehensive report? There are Australian standards for building inspection reports, and a professional must ensure that their report meets these standards.
5. Expert advice
With a little bit of research, you might find yourself breaking up with the property you fell head over heels for.
Thankfully, Mortgage Corp have taken the hard work out of finding a reliable solicitor, accountant or real estate agent, establishing our own internal network of advisers we can call on to assist you with guidance and industry insight.
About Mortgage Corp
Based in Mt Waverley, Melbourne, Mortgage Corp specialises in helping successful professionals and property investors access discounted premium rates, minimise loan approval red tape and apply strategic loan structuring for long-term investment success.
Unlike many mortgage brokers that may be able to help you with general loans but simply don’t have the skills, experience or resources to genuinely help property investors maximise long-term wealth, Mortgage Corp loan specialists help investors develop a strategic approach to property investing for long term investment success. Book a FREE Consultation today to discuss your financial goals!