You’ve found your dream home at the right price, in the right location. But don’t take things at face value. Some additional research can confirm if there’s more to your new home than meets the eye.
When you inspect properties listed for sale it’s easy to base a home-buying decision on what you see today. But there can be unexpected nasties – anything from hidden pest problems to a neighbour’s plans to build a multi-storey mansion next door. Some simple investigative work can provide a ‘warts and all’ picture of what you’re really buying, and help you avoid unpleasant (and potentially costly) surprises further down the track.
So – what should you watch out for when buying a new property?
Have the contract of sale reviewed by a professional.
Unless you have a legal background, a property’s contract of sale can be hard to understand, and it pays to have the contract reviewed by a solicitor or conveyancer before you sign on the dotted line. This can identify any restrictions, covenants or easements (which give someone else the right to cross or use the land) that may impact your property.
Pre-purchase building and pest reports
In addition to giving a property a thorough inspection yourself, it can be worth investing in pre-purchase inspection reports.
A building inspection report can identify serious defects like a dodgy roof or problems such as rising damp, which could see you facing budget-breaking repair bills.
To be sure you won’t be sharing your new home with destructive creepy crawlies like termites, it can also be wise to think about a pest inspection.
If you’re planning to buy an apartment or townhouse, think about organising a strata inspection report. As an apartment owner, you’ll also be a member of the ‘owners corporation’, which is responsible for the maintenance of common property and the overall building. This means paying corporation fees and levies, and potentially contributing cash to a capital works fund covering longer term repair bills.
To know what sort of financial shape the body corporate is in, you should take a look at the strata records yourself. A strata inspection report can also show the quarterly levies you’ll be up for as well as current or proposed special levies to meet the cost of future building works.
For more information on getting the bigger picture on a property you’re planning to buy, talk to your North Sydney mortgage broker today!