Preparing to buy
Prospective purchasers need to do some homework. Once you have found a property of a number of properties that fit your property you need to view them and make a decision based on all your criteria about which one best suits your needs. Some things to remember when preparing to buy are:
- Inspect the property: inspections should be made at the advertised times or by appointment with the real estate agent. You may need to inspect the property more than once before making your final decision.
- Assess the property against your criteria: you need to look at the location and style of the property in relation to your requirements: the size of the property, proximity to schools, access to public transport and so on should all be considered. Once you have found a property that suits you, it is wise to check it out during the week as well as on the weekend, as a peaceful environment one day might be quite different at other times.
- Engage the experts: you may consider having a property inspected by a builder or architect to assess whether there are any defects that might affect your decision to buy. This is particularly relevant if large-scale renovation or extensions are planned. Both Archicentre and the Housing Industry Association (HIA), among others, provide an inspection service. For a fee, they inspect and report on the state of the property, including the structural condition, damp and termites.
- Organise finance: confirm with your financial institution or bank the amount they are willing to lend you and calculate this with your capacity to repay, without negatively impacting on your lifestyle and other financial commitments. Don’t forget that (variable) home loan interest rates can move up and down, so you need to have a bit of leeway to cope if this happens.
You will also need to take into account a number of other costs associated with buying a property for which the buyer is liable. These may include the following:
- Legal/conveyancing fees;
- Stamp duty on the transfer of property;
- Stamp duty on the mortgage;
- Loan application fees;
- Insurance; and
- Adjustments such as council rates and water fees.