What to look for when buying property

by Ben Handler

March 4, 2021

Woman looking to buy property

So you’ve decided to start looking for a new property to buy. Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or an investment property there are a number of considerations which should always be taken into account. This is to not only ensure that you find a property that meets your requirements, but so that you avoid purchasing a property that may cause you further problems down the line. 

Here are some key factors to be thinking about when choosing your next property:   

Location, Location, Location 

Just because you like a property, doesn’t mean that you should discount the location of where that property is situated. The location of a property can be critical in determining how much value your property increases and how much the property serves your needs. Here’s what you need to be pondering when it comes to location. 

Understand the local area

When buying a property, you’re also buying into the local area and it’s essential that you understand what opportunities and limitations are in place. Research indicates that many buyers regret the areas that they buy into and this is why thorough investigation (and potentially the guidance of a buyer’s agent) is paramount. 

Things to consider include: 

  • Local amenities that are available and their proximity to the property (e.g. supermarkets, banks etc) 
  • Access to public transport 
  • Other potential developments that may impact your property. Check what zonings are in place.  
  • Council restrictions 
  • Crime rates in the area 
  • Sense of local community 
  • Quality of school catchment

Visit the property on different days of the week and at different times to ensure you get no nasty surprises. For example, if you’re looking at a property near a main road, you might find that at peak hour during the week the street can become noisy and filled with traffic.

Future Growth

If you’re savvy with the location you choose to purchase your residential or investment property in, you could be buying into an area that in 5-10 years time could be worth a lot more. Using the above information and the guidance of experts, you may like to choose an area that is valued lower, but is predicted to grow. Keep in mind that nothing is a guarantee, so all you can do is your best to predict future growth. 

Dive into the Finer Details 

Buying a property is a big decision so it’s crucial that you do as much research and due diligence into the property as possible to put you in the best possible position. 

A good place to start is by finding out why the property is on the market. You can talk to the selling agent about this. However, keep in mind that you might not get all the reasons. Reach out to neighbours directly in the area to get a little more insider information on this. 

Get Good Quality Expert Advice 

It’s unlikely that you’ve got the experience or knowledge to fully understand all the various documents that come with buying your new property. Hence, make sure you engage with experts that you trust will do a good job. If you’re working with a buyer’s agent, they’ll already have a number of existing relationships with conveyancers, solicitors and more that they can leverage to assist you. 

Review the Building Report 

Make sure you and an expert thoroughly review the building report to identify any potential issues such as structural defects and so that you’re clear on what you’re buying into. You don’t want to be buying a property that you then have to, unexpectedly, spend money renovating or fixing. 

Get a Strata Report 

When it comes to buying into strata, it’s essential that you get a strata report done so that you can pick up any red flags like a potentially large special levy for capital works. It’s also good to familiarise yourself with the by-laws of the building, as if you have a pet and you’re looking to move into a building that has a no pets by-law, then you’re likely to run into trouble. There are many organisations that specialise in providing detailed analysis on strata reports. 

Choose a Good Solicitor 

With the property contract, get a good solicitor to review this so that they can make sure that everything is in order. For example, maybe there’s an unusual clause around the vacate date which needs to be negotiated further. Investing in good advice will be sure to pay off in the long run. 

Work With a Buyer’s Agent 

Have you considered working with a buyer’s agent (also known as a buyer’s advocate)? What even is the role of a buyer’s agent? A buyer’s agent can deliver you a huge range of benefits such as saving you time, money and energy and can help guide you through all the important factors to consider when looking to buy property. 

Find a buyer’s agent in your local area and learn more about how they can help you to buy property better

Don’t Limit Yourself 

It’s easy to sometimes have a narrow vision when looking for property. If you’re looking for an investment property, and ideally one that will drive large growth returns, it might be worth considering looking for property in another state. By diversifying your portfolio, you could be taking advantage of different property markets which might be at different stages, thus driving positive returns. You could also be spreading your land tax liability based on the conditions of each state. 

A way to move into other markets that you might not have first hand knowledge of, is to work with a local buyer’s agent who is on the ground and can walk you through each step. 

It Starts With You

Establish Your Requirements

Everyone has different needs when it comes to buying property to either live in or use for investment purposes. The most important thing is getting clear on what it is that you need from a property so that you avoid any future disappointment. Start by honestly asking yourself what features of the property are essential versus what would be nice to have. For example, if you’re looking to buy a house and start a new family in a couple of years, it might be important that you have an additional bedroom. Or maybe a designated parking spot is crucial, as you rely on driving as a regular mode of transport. Get really clear on what you requirements are. 

Get Educated

If you’d like to get better at buying property for yourself, or maybe for others, it would be worth considering undertaking study to become a buyer’s agent. This is an excellent way to gain practical knowledge on all the steps involved when it comes to buying property. You’ll build invaluable relationships with key industry personnel that will put you at an advantage when buying property. 

Get in touch with the friendly team at the Buyer’s Agent Institute to learn more or watch this free webclass.

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