Searching for your ideal home will quickly lead you into inspecting prospective properties. When looking over these prospective homes, be sure to:
Because you are likely to be seeing many properties, it is a good idea to write down your impressions of each property you visit. This will help you to compare properties easily and assist you in your recollections of the various features of each property.
Print out copies of our Property Scorecard and take these with you when viewing properties. Make sure you record all the details, including the property address, date of visit, real estate agent's details and price range, as well as the property location details.
Draw a rough floor plan of the property, and if possible ask the real estate agent for a photograph of the property.
Ask the Real Estate Agent to provide you with a copy of the Purchase Agreement to review, and to show you the following documents to sight:
It is in both the vendor's and the Real Estate Agent's best interests to provide correct and sufficient information to the buyer.
If you are really keen to buy a particular property, it is advisable to retain the services of a good legal representative to review the Purchase Agreement and all other documentation.
It is difficult to imagine buying a motor car without checking the engine and taking it for a test drive. However, many people do just this when buying a home, which costs significantly more.
It is imperative that you perform a comprehensive inspection of any property you intend to purchase, in order to ascertain the exact condition of the property. This should ensure that there are no major repair surprises that come to light once you have taken possession of the property.
Read through the list below for just some of the aspects that you should consider when inspecting a property.
INSIDE THE PROPERTY
OUTSIDE THE PROPERTY
If you do not feel comfortable or competent enough to check any of the areas detailed above, then arrange for a professional inspection.
If you feel you do not have the practical and technical knowledge required to perform an inspection yourself, then hire a professional inspector. The cost of a professional inspection will be minimal relative to what you stand to save.
Professional inspections should cover every accessible part of the building, including roof space and sub-floor. It should check for poor structure, leaking roof and guttering, subsiding footings, faulty wiring and plumbing, dampness, rot and many other faults. A comprehensive inspection should take 2 to 4 hours.
Inspections are not designed to disclose cosmetic deficiencies (e.g. paint chipping in the kitchen). You will need to decide for yourself whether these types of items need attention.
You should receive a written Inspection Report following the inspection, which will inform you of any property faults, how bad they are and a likely cost to repair them.
Armed with this information you can then decide whether you wish to purchase the property. If you do decide to make an offer on the property, you will be in a far better position to negotiate.
If possible, be present at the inspection so that you can discuss any concerns you may have with the inspector.
The next step is to negotiate a deal for your ideal home.