Doing the research when it comes to House Hunting
The process of buying a property can be as involved or as relaxed as you want to make it. There are those who like to view multiple properties before settling on one, and others who walk in to the auction of a property they’ve never seen before and make the winning bid.
Regardless of what type of buyer you are, there are a few pieces of research beyond your typical building inspection that over my time in the real estate industry I have found and seen to be quite helpful when comparing properties and ensuring a certain property is suited to your needs.
Spend some time in the area before you decide to buy
A common attribute to be found on a property advertisement is the close (often walking distance) proximity of nearby shops, schools and public transportation. It’s surprising how many people take this at face value and are then disappointed because the ‘local’ amenities are actually quite a fair hike away.
If the property looks like one you’d be interested in buying, take an afternoon to park nearby and walk around the suburb identifying exactly how far away certain spots are located, and the time it takes you to get to them.
Ask about the property itself
If the property is older with clear additions to the original structure it is important that you find out when renovations were undertaken. This should help to give you some idea as to how long you may have before further works will be needed.
It can also help to know how energy efficient the property is. This includes whether it has energy efficient appliances and installations such as solar panels or a solar water heater. If it comes down to a choice between two houses, the knowledge that a certain property could have reduced energy bills may be a deciding factor.
Take care when buying off the plan
Just as older properties could be in need of work, new, off-the-plan properties are not always perfect. It is often worth doing some research into the developer or builder of a new property, taking into consideration how past projects have stood the test of time and whether the developer has delivered on time. By doing such research you may be saving yourself further angst down the line if something goes wrong from the developers end.
By considering a property of interest beyond your conventional (and still very important) professional property inspections, you may be able to determine its appropriateness to your needs, or have further means of differentiating it from other properties also under consideration. In any case, researching a property and its surrounding area is very important to ensure that you are happy with your new purchase.