Congratulations – you’ve made the decision to buy a house! But how do you find the perfect one for you? Read on, and we’ll guide you through the ten things to consider when buying your next home.
1. Identify what your purpose is for the home
Is this your first home? Your forever home? An investment property? The answer to this question will determine the location and type of home that suits your situation.
For owner-occupiers, you might want to be close to work or the kid’s school. Investors may prefer a higher growth suburb on the other side of town from where they live and work.
2. Research the suburb and surrounding area
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to possible suburbs, research your short list. What is the crime rate like? Availability of public transport? Are there any potential zoning changes that might affect your future use of the property?
You might also like to have a chat to some local real estate agents to get a feel for the market trends. This will assist you in determining a reasonable offer, when you do find a home you’re interested in.
REIWA also has comprehensive research tools available on their website. These tools can offer insight into suburb performance, comparative analysis and median house prices in your chosen area(s).
3. Decide on your wish list
Different people have different requirements when buying a home. Perhaps you want a low maintenance ‘lock-and-leave’. Alternatively, a green-thumb might look for sprawling lawns and a large garden shed.
It’s important to have a list of all the key features that you want in a property. You might also find it useful to rank these in order of importance.
4. Identify your deal-breakers
You might also have a few things in mind that immediately disqualify a home from your list of potentials. Proximity to main roads, lack of storage or insufficient bedrooms or bathrooms could all mean that a home is not suitable for your requirements.
Take the time to ensure that you’ve thought these through, as once you’ve signed on the dotted line, it’s usually too late to change your mind!
5. Take a look at your finances before buying
Have a chat to your finance broker or your bank before you start inspecting properties. They’ll be able to let you know how much you can borrow and what your repayments will be. This way, you won’t fall in love with a home that doesn’t fit your budget.
Your finance professional will also be able to advise you how much deposit you will need to have saved to meet the bank’s requirements.
6. Check the Title Deed
Once you’ve found a home that you’re keen on buying, it will pay to do some specific research. A copy of the Certificate of Title search, as well as a Property Interest Report from Landgate is a great place to start.
The Certificate of Title will show you whether there are any encumbrances such as restrictive covenants or notifications that will affect your use of the property. Metro Settlements can explain what any of these mean, if you’re unsure of the impact they might have.
The Property Interest Report is a very useful source of information, and compiles over 70 ‘interests’ that might affect any given property. It will reveal things such as heritage listings, contaminated sites, bush fire prone areas and possible road widening.
7. Get a professional (or two) to check it over
Whilst you can make your offer subject to inspections, such as building, pest and survey, usually you’re only given an out in the case of major or significant problems. Minor maintenance issues are generally not covered, and you’ll be required to proceed with the purchase.
Instead, look to have these inspections done prior to making your offer. That way, if you find that the property has a lot of minor maintenance required, and the project is just too large for you to take on, you’re not locked in to purchasing it.
8. Introduce yourself to the neighbours
If you’re really interested in the property, there’s no reason why you can’t go and knock on their door and say hello! If you end up buying the property, you’ll be living next door to them possibly for years to come. A rude neighbour could really impact your quality of life!
Personalities aside, a neighbour could offer wonderful insight into the local area, and the lifestyle that it offers.
9. Drive past the property regularly
Popping past at various times, such as early morning, mid-afternoon and on weekends can reveal much about a property.
For instance, if it’s close to a school, it may be affected by traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. Parks and reserves with sporting facilities may be used by large clubs and organisations for weekly matches and this might not necessarily fit with your lifestyle.
10. Get your Settlement Agent to review the Contract
The last step, before you put pen to paper and sign the offer is to speak to Metro Settlements! We’ll review the Contract for you and make sure that it addresses all of your concerns and requirements.