Buying land, a house or an apartment is likely to be one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Property isn’t cheap in Australia, and its takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice to save up that 20 per cent deposit. So, if you have reached the property inspection stage of your first-home purchase, there’s a few things you need to check – which most people forget about.
1. Check the work stations
A house needs the essentials: a bathroom, kitchen and laundry. However, if you’re visiting multiple properties it can be easy to skip over a careful analysis of those rooms. If you’re looking at apartments, then the laundry can be particularly illusive. Make sure to check the exact location of the laundry, that there’s enough room in the kitchen to be functional and the layout of the bathroom.
2. Keep the future in mind
Although you may just be buying your first property, are you planing to have children? Or planning to get a pet? Do you need a space where you can work from home? Do you need a garden or are you happy with a courtyard or balcony? These are all important questions to keep at the forefront of your mind when viewing a property, because a one-bedroom unit with a small balcony might suit your life now, but it isn’t going to cater to a couple with a child and a dog. Try to future-proof your investment so it can grow and adapt as your life changes.
3. Spend some time in the area
You don’t want to move into your brand-new home, only to discover it’s under a flight path, the suburb has heavy traffic or is slated for development. Spend some time getting to know the suburb and familiarise yourself with the traffic situation, the noise situation, and if it has facilities such as a doctor, dentist, supermarket and chemist within easy reach. It also pays to double check if there are any new areas of development happening in the suburb, because you don’t want to pay more for a beach view, only to find that beach view will soon be obscured by an apartment building or shopping centre.
4. Do your research
If you plan to buy an apartment be sure to get a strata inspection report and familiarise yourself with any levy fees, past, current or future issues, future plans for the building and any maintenance or repairs that need to be done. It’s important to know what money you might be expected to cough up.
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