Buying a home? What you should know

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Buying-a-homeWhen it comes to buying a new home, what should you be researching and where?

You don’t buy a car without going for a test drive. It’s rare to purchase a couch without taking a seat to ascertain its comfort. So it’s mind blowing to think many of us make the biggest purchase of our lives after spending less than an hour on site at our potential home. While you can’t take your dream house for an overnight test drive, you can do some serious digging on the research front. So when it comes to background checks, what should you be researching and where?


house-hunting-keysYou may not be able to spend large tracts of time inside your potential home, but you can spend time on the street and in the suburb. You may be living here soon, so explore the local park, enjoy a coffee at the shops or walk your potential street, and do it at different times of the day. This is the best way to really get a feel for a neighbourhood. It may also alert you to issues like constantly barking dogs, antisocial neighbours or even noisy train lines. If you’re buying a house off a plan, spend some time at the display home. Builders in Sydney and elsewhere – like Coral Homes – have display sites and they welcome people to spend time at the properties ascertaining the features that work for them.

Market data

Chances are, by the time you’re considering buying a home you have a fair idea what the housing market is doing. But if you don’t, you should get up to speed on what’s happening in the suburbs and streets you’re interested in.

Standard real estate advertising websites have a host of data to mine about recent sales, time spent on the market and any trends. This info is well worth checking out. It gives you a great idea of how much negotiating room you have on the property and an inkling of whether this suburb is a hotspot where properties are being snapped up.

Potential problems

Is your home going to be under a new flight path? Is there a mining lease on land just down the road? You’re unlikely to know unless you check the town plan and conduct a news search about your area. Most councils have their town plans readily available on the internet so residents can see what land uses are likely to be allowed. And while you’re onto council, check relevant documents such as flood mapping.

Building and pest inspections

house-huntingNo existing home should be purchased without building and pest inspections. It’s just not worth the risk. A comprehensive building inspection can alert you to current issues, problems that may pop up in the future and give you a good idea of how much they’re likely to set you back.

Even if your heart tells you this is the house you have to have, take the time to do your research. It costs so little, but could save you so much.

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