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Checklist: House Hunting

Starting your house hunt is an exciting time but it can also be an overwhelming time. What do you need to consider when trying to decide if a property is your next home? We’ve prepared a checklist here for you.

Structure & Condition

Having as much information on hand about the property you are looking at will make your decision on whether to move forward with, or move on to the next property, much easier. The condition of the home, including understanding any structural concerns it may have, will be very important as it may affect the level of insurance you will need and the risk of ongoing costs associated with upkeep, should the property need any remedial work done.

☐ Do you understand the condition that the property is in? What materials were used to build the property?

☐ Is there a code of compliance for additional works done to the property?

☐ Is a LIM report available in the real estate agents’ package, or will you have to order one yourself?

☐ Does the property feel well insulated?

☐ Does the roof appear in a good condition?

☐ Are there any obvious signs of leaks or cladding issues?

☐ Does the water run? Have you checked the plumbing and taps?

☐ Is there any work that has been done since building the property been consented?

☐ Have you inspected the outside of the property, everything from garden features to decks and pools?

Cosmetic Design

It’s not often that you’d find a home designed exactly the way you’d dream it would be. Part of your investment journey may be re-designing the home to suit your personal needs. You will need to understand how much this would cost and whether it is worth the amount required, to not only get it to a standard you love but to keep it that way.

☐ Would the house be ready to move into immediately or do you need to update any features such as taps, doors, paint colours, bathroom features and other built-in appliances?

☐ You’ll obviously be looking for the basics like number and size of rooms and bathrooms, but it’s important to consider the layout of the spaces and their function. For example, if you’ll be having guests over for dinner, are toilets convenient to access from the living areas?

☐ Is there enough space outside of the house to include items such as a barbeque station, kids play equipment, vegetable garden or any other lifestyle considerations you need to make?

☐ Consider the direction of sunlight and which rooms will get the most warmth, there’s no point having a garage that gets sunlight all day if your living spaces don’t! Dark rooms can be more susceptible to dampness and mould.

☐ What are the storage spaces are like? Are the wardrobes built in? Or if not, is there sufficient space to add them. Is there a garden shed or attic space to store belongings in and if so, are they in good condition?

Property Considerations

There are many factors to consider outside of the general design and construction of a property. Here are a few important factors to consider:

☐ How will the unique features of this property affect your insurance cover?

☐ Are there any other fees relating to the property? This includes body corporate, ground lease fees or fees relating to the upkeep of unique features and items such as pools or spa.

☐ Do you understand how much the rates will be?

☐ Are there any obvious issues that may need to be remedied by the seller prior to sale, or would you purchase knowing these issues (and possibly purchasing at a reduced price).

☐ Are there any title concerns? Any shared driveways or walls?

☐ Have you checked the neighbouring properties and area? Are there any developments to be aware of and any obstructions to your views from this property?

☐ When leaving the viewing, it’s a good idea to have a drive around the local area to get a feel for the neighborhood and see if it suits your needs. Are there shops, schools, public transport, or parks nearby?

☐ Since agents typically run viewings during the best lighting periods, you might even want to drive by at different times of the day to get a better feel for the overall state.


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