Checklist for buying a house
If you're in the market for a new property, follow this checklist to make sure you have considered your money management, the property location, exterior and interior before making an offer.
There's no doubt buying a new home can be overwhelming with many considerations to make and pros and cons to way up. After all, it's a huge investment so you want to choose the right property.
To help, we've created this extensive checklist for buying a house. Use it during your property inspections to help truly understand how the house stacks up against your priorities.
The first thing to do is understand your numbers what's coming in and going out, and how much you can afford to spend on home loan repayments. Before you start inspecting new homes, think about these keys money matters:
What is your budget?
o How much money is available to you for the purchase
o How much is a smart amount to spend on the property
o What is the best home loan rate and loan facility
Do you have access to a deposit?
o If you plan to buy at auction, you need to pay your deposit on the day
o If you make a written offer for a private sale, you can make your offer subject to finance, but you will still need to pay either the full deposit or a nominal amount with the reminder to the paid by a date set out in the contract
Do you understand the key financial differences between buying at auction versus a private sale?
o If you plan to buy at auction, arranged a pre-approved loan
o If you buy at a private sale, develop a plan for making an offer and negotiating the price
When considering the location of your new home, the best place to start is with the property reports that outline the sales trends in your preferred suburb. Once you have confirmed the house prices in your ideal location match your budget, then you can look for things like:
Does the suburb include amenities you might need?
o Access to public transport
o Medical and health care services
o Schools and childcare facilities
o Food and entertainment
Is the location near recreation areas?
o Bike tracks
o Sporting amenities
How long will it take you to get to work from the suburb?
o Via car
o Public transport
o Or a combination of the above
Are there any local council developments or planning changes scheduled for the area?
o High-rise buildings
o Neighbourhood renovations or redevelopments
o Parks or recreation upgrades
o Roads or traffic changes
What are the surrounds like?
o Condition and upkeep of nearby houses
o Street scapes including trees
Once you have a property in mind, there are many things to check before making an offer. After all, you don't want to rush in only to find unexpected surprises such us termites or structure issues. That's why, we strongly suggest getting a building and pest inspection report prior to any purchase.
What is the building structure like?
o Structurally sounds
o Have any previous renovations been done
o Were previous works conducted by a registered builder
Is it possible to renovate in the future?
o Space for extending
o Options for rebuilding or adding outdoor entertaining areas
What condition is the outside of the property in?
o Roof and guttering
o Decks and paving
o Gardens and fences
o Paintwork and brickwork
o Window glass and frames
How the house positioned on the block?
o North facing
o Protection from hot westerly sun
o Damp spots including musty smells in dark areas
o Off street parking
o Undercover parking
o On street permit zones
o None of the above
Is there any traffic or noise pollution to consider?
o Close to freeways or train lines
o Peak-hour traffic noise
o Beneath a flight path
o Nearby schools or public areas
When checking inside the property, remember to look for things that are not necessarily visible such as electrical wiring, plumbing and power point placement.
What is included in the sale of the property?
o Curtains and blinds
o Light fittings and carpets
o Air-conditioning and heating units
o Any storage or portable units
What is the configuration of the rooms
o Number and size of the bedrooms
o Number and size of the bathrooms
o Separate toilet to bathroom
o Separate laundry
o Living spaces
o Open plan or indoor-outdoor living areas
Are the plumbing and electricals operational?
o Kitchen, bathroom and laundry plumbing
o Electrical wiring including in external buildings like a garage, shed or studio
o Safe electricity and gas connections
Is the kitchen in good condition?
o Stove top and oven
o Storage and shelving
o Bench tops
o Dishwasher and sink
What state are the walls, ceilings and floors in?
o Carpets and floorboards
o Paint work
o Mould or sun damage
Is there enough storage space?
o Built-in wardrobes
o Linen press
o Cupboards and shelving
o Space for your appliances including fridge, washing machine and dyer
Do all of the windows and doors open?
o Internal doors, including to the bedrooms and bathrooms
o Cupboard doors
o Doors to the exterior
o Windows, especially in bathrooms where mould can build up
For more information about buying property download our free eBook Secrets of Successful Home Buyers. Visit our Property Solutions Hub where you can request property reports and see an overview of the steps needed to start achieving your property goals.
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