If you’re planning to buy a new house, there’s a lot to think about – the process of buying a house is one that most people go through only a few times, so it’s important to plan ahead.
There are the decisions about where you want to buy, what kind of property, what kind of price you might be able to pay, and then zeroing in on a property that you want, and organising the legal and financial side of things.
Doing your property research – including recent real estate sale prices – will give you a good understanding of the current property market. It will also help you engage with the agents selling the property with confidence.
The next phase is zeroing in on the area you want to buy in and attending inspections to make sure the property is in good condition. For most people, it’s a worthwhile investment to get a qualified building inspector to write a report on the state of the property so that you can rest assured it won’t fall apart a year after you move in.
To help you out, here’s a checklist of what to look out for when buying a house:
Home buying checklist
- Research real estate price history in your chosen area
- Save for your deposit – at least 20% is a good rule of thumb
- Organise a meeting with your bank or mortgage broker to get a home loan pre-approval
- Don’t forget the additional costs of solicitors’ and conveyancing fees, stamp duty, strata fees, and council rates
- Find a solicitor or conveyancer before you start the buying process
- Decide whether you want or can afford a house, townhouse or apartment
- Old, new or off the plan?
- Make sure the areas you’re targeting have the infrastructure and amenities you need
- Is it a safe neighbourhood?
- Are the electricity, water, and sewage connected?
- Is it under a flight path? Is there other noise to consider?
- Is the area prone to floods or fires?
- Is the property flat or on a steep slope (which may have implications for extensions)?
- Is there sufficient drainage?
- Look at the zoning of the area so you know what kind of properties might neighbour yours
- Run a contaminated land search to check that the land hasn’t previously been used as a dump or mine
- What direction does the property face to avoid sun exposure?
- Is the building structurally sound? You will need a qualified building inspector to assess this.
- Is there off-street parking, or enough on-street parking?
- Is the paintwork, brickwork, and plastering in good condition?
- Are there cracks in the walls of the building or any retaining walls?
- Are the roof, gutter, and downpipes in good condition?
- Are the walls, ceilings, and floors in good condition? Check behind furniture
- Is there plenty of natural light?
- Is the water pressure good?
- Is there any evidence of termites, mould, or rot?
- What’s included in the sale – appliances, curtains, light fittings, air conditioner?
- Is there insulation?
- Is it well ventilated?
- Top 10 most affordable suburbs in Melbourne
- Things to consider when looking for property
- The 3 different ways to sell your home
Doing your property research will give you a good understanding of the current property market. Get a free online value estimate from Upside on any property, including sales history and local area insights in just 30 seconds!