Safe as Houses

Buying a property can be a journey and when you think you’ve found the one, often you turn to  family or friends for their guidance to help assess that it’s worth taking the next step. Even that  experience can still leave you confused!

You’ve already ticked off some of those major variables as you gaze into the eyes of your dream  home:

1) Aesthetically, it’s the style you have always envisioned (to some degree, or at least you can  see its potential).

2) You can see it working with your lifestyle, and getting along with your and family and friends

3) It’s within the budget.

But then there’s all the other factors that most of us don’t feel like experts in which are equally  important. It’s those elements that are often more than meets the eye, and for real surety, you want  to be in the safe hands of someone that knows all the legal, structural, property history, lifestyle,  community and whatever else you can’t think of boxes that need to be ticked.

So as a starting point, which we feel is important to ease this decision making process, here’s a checklist to help you become aware of some of those other purchasing decisions.

Modelled after the ​Canstar Home Loans​ checklist it is broken up between the necessary inspections  one would endure throughout the purchasing journey.

The Initial Inspection

● Is the property in close proximity to valuable facilities, these include schools, shopping  districts, public transport etc.

● Where are the bedrooms facing? Remember, if they are facing west, that could be an  inclination of unwanted heat during the day. Also consider the natural life within the house.

● What is the structure like? Consider the roof, walls and gutters, are these strong?

● What is the feel of the neighbourhood? Does this fit in with your lifestyle?

● Let’s consider water and pipes. Any leaks?

● The finishes. Any loose hinges, broken lights or cracked skirting?

● Consider council rates, will you be paying more for gas, water and insurance?

● Does the backyard, driveway, garage and building itself fit your lifestyle and family size?

TIP: If your mind is wandering into the potential of the property for future additions such as  extensions or a pool,  surveying the premises is essential. Future additions could also mean pets, so  check if its strata titled or not.

Pre-Purchase Building Inspection

● Termites and asbestos?

● Are walls, fences, in-roof, under-floor crawl and garage all structurally sound?

● Consider the plumbing and surface water drainage.

● Finishes (once again) doors and windows opening and closing?

To ensure a full understanding of any implications, make sure the right and qualified person is  inspecting the above. If any of these issues do arise, consult your builder and discuss solutions and  whether these are something you can afford.

Pre-Settlement Inspection

● Revisit all previous checklists and ensure everything is in order

● Is the home vacant? Has the previous tenant damaged anything since the last time you  visited?

● Do fixtures work? Consider washing machine, dishwasher etc.

● Ensure all conditions of the contract have been met  TIP:  This is the last inspection before the property settles. Pay particular attention and if anything  does not align, be sure to speak up before the property settles.

To minimise the sense of feeling overwhelmed, these checklists can help you at every stage of the  buying and settlement journey and improve the negotiating power of the property.

If it all seems too much with so many different factors that must be considered, Cohen Handler can  put your mind at ease and fortify your decision. Think of it as having the ultimate property wingman. So before you get lost in the romance, consider working with a Cohen Handler buyer’s agent.

They’ll  reduce the guess work so that you can feel confident that this is the home. The one that will perfectly  house your future memories and be an investment that is as safe as houses.

For assistance on your buying checklist please contact Cohen Handler on 1300 420 160 or email [email protected]