What to look for in a property?

When you're thinking of buying, your requirements will vary depending on your personal circumstances and on the sort of property you wish to buy.

You may be looking for a family home, a "sea change" property or a holiday home. Once you have found the property of your dreams, you may want to pause for a while and reflect before making an offer or signing on the dotted line.

Consider the following checklist:

  • Before you decide on anything do you have your finance pre approved?

  • Will you enjoy living in the neighbourhood?

  • Is the house sound? If you have any doubts at all, hire building inspector to check.

  • Is it in an area likely to hold resale value or benefit from capital growth?

  • Are there any long-term costs or issues such as body corporate fees, jointly owned driveways?

  • What type of Title is the property? Is it Fee Simple Title, Unit Title, Strata Title Cross Lease, or some other? Ask your solicitor to advise on the Title.

  • Does the entire house, including alterations, have the required Council Consent or Code of Compliance?

  • Is it built for the climate? Is it insulated? Will it be warm in winter, cool in summer?

  • Have you asked your local council about planning issues like the possibility of any big developments planned or construction of new roads nearby?

  • If big changes are needed to make the property comfortable, then it's a good idea to know the costs before you make an offer.

  • Is the house and land suitable for your stage in life - are there too many stairs, is the garden too steep?

Then think about the detail:

  • Does the house have enough bedrooms?

  • Are you happy with the garden - or its potential?

  • Will you have good access to the facilities you need such as schools, doctor, medical centres and shops?

  • Are there enough bathrooms? Is there enough garage space? Is the garage accessible from inside the house?

  • Will you have problems with traffic or noise?

  • Is the kitchen serviceable?

  • Is it safe for your family, e.g. children,the elderly or disabled?

  • Is it suitable for pets?

  • Are you happy with the building's security?

  • Check under the house - is it dry?

  • Is the block well drained?

Buying in a rural or coastal area?

You may also wish to consider other practical issues, such as:

  • Is there a good water supply?

  • Is there any risk of flooding or erosion?

  • How much maintenance work will you need to do - or pay someone else to do?

  • Are you likely to be bothered by nearby farming or orchard work?

  • Are there any industries in the area that could affect you?

  • Will you still have easy access to your family, friends, work and recreation?

  • What will be the long term impact of corrosive sea air?

Information on property loans?

Get to know about applying for a loan to buy your next property.