The first time you look to purchase a property there is a lot to consider. While you may be concentrating on price or whether it passes a building and pest inspection, there are a lot of other things to consider. You don’t have to get overwhelmed though. Here are a few things to think about when you’re looking at property.
Like everything, you should start at the beginning. Make a list: How many bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces do you need? Do you want a yard or air conditioning? How close to the city or work do you want to be? Where are the closest schools, shopping centers, and cafes? These may seem like the kind of things that will be front of mind while you’re searching, but it is easier than you think to get distracted, especially when there is a selling agent in your face. Go through your list and tick the boxes. If it passes all those requirements, then you can go into further research.
It’s always better to have the worst house on the best street than the best house on the worst street, or so the saying goes. You don’t have to take it to that extreme but be mindful of location. Check out the area. You can drive or walk around the block and surrounding streets to get a feel for it. You mightn’t realise how much noise comes from a nearby main road until you really listen for it. If you’re confident enough, go have a chat with potential neighbours, they can be a great source of local information both good and bad.
Jump online and have a look at how many rentals there are in the area, this can often be a sign of neighbourhood quality. While you’re on real estate websites you can also look at what prices the property you’re looking to buy, and surrounding properties sold for in the last few years. Lastly, one that a lot of people can forget, is the property on a flight path? While it might not be close to an airport you could be the on takeoff or landing approaches. Most airports have a flight path tool where you can enter an address and see if you are on path, how many flights are on that path and how low they get. It’s a quick step to make sure your windows aren’t rattling while your trying to enjoy a Sunday family breakfast.
Property Services and Restrictions
Once you’re happy with the area, it’s time to focus on the property again. Particularly if you want to renovate, knowing about the supplies to your property and any restrictions is a major consideration before purchase. If you are planning to dig or extend you need to know where underground pipes are. Local water suppliers are the people to talk to. For example in Sydney, Sydney Water can provide a sewer service diagram.
If you are buying a property in a complex such as an apartment or townhouse, renovation might be subject to strata conditions. There may even be restrictions to non-strata properties. In some cases, a covenant could be in place that restricts external elements such the size, style or even colour of a property. These must be disclosed in the contract and your solicitor can inform you. The selling agent should be able to provide you with those. Otherwise, property details can be found online. In NSW you can access these on the property portal.
While it may seem like a lot to cover
If you are prepared and mindful while searching for your dream first property, you’ll come out the other side happy and with no surprises. If you need help with property law or conveyancing, contact our award-winning conveyancer at CM Lawyers.