There’s a lot to think about when you’re buying a house, so here’s a list of things to keep in mind when you’re on the open home circuit.
When you’re on the house hunt, make lists of what you need and what you want – keeping in mind that you can’t always get everything you want, so be prepared to compromise. But if the property gods are smiling you might just get what you need.
Having a nosey around open homes is quite fun the first few times you do it, but it can become a drag if it’s how you’re spending your weekends for months on end. Make life easier on yourself by being really clear about what you’re looking for and what’s realistic for your budget. Nail down your price range, the suburbs or areas where you’d be happy to live, the minimum number of bedrooms you want and if things like a garage or flat section are important to you.
If you’ve found a house you like, visit it at various times of the day and on different days of the week, so you get a complete picture of what you’re getting into in terms of sunlight, traffic and the general noise and vibe of the surrounding streets and suburb.
If you don’t ask, they won’t necessarily tell. If a real estate agent has information about any issues or problems with a house, they have to tell you, but only if you ask. So, don’t be shy – speak up and ask lots of questions.
Make a list of pros and cons for every house you're considering (you might go to so many open homes you find it hard to remember what was what at the end of a busy day of house hunting).
Things to look for:
It might also be a good idea to get an expert in to carry out a proper building inspection – they should cover all of this and more.
You need to find out if there are any restrictions on how you can use the property and that any renovations or extensions have all the necessary permits and consents.
Get a lawyer involved to help you navigate this. Make sure these kinds of things are covered: