In Part 2, we discussed the importance of choosing the correct mortgage and sticking to a budget, along with the traps of underestimating home buying costs and allowing market forecasts and trends to unduly influence decisions. In our last instalment, we consider the importance of taking your time to decide on a property, ensuring legal documents are correct, organising professional inspections and assessing property on more than price alone.
Legal Documents are Binding
After exchange of a contract, the purchaser may have time to “cool off”. Not all States allow a cooling off period but if a cooling off period applies, the purchaser can rescind before the end of the cooling off period. Cooling off does not apply to sales at auction. The smoothest route with the best legal protection is to request any additional clauses before you sign and consult with your solicitor or conveyancer.
Think about more than Price
Assess potential properties on more than asking price. For example, consider location, neighbourhood, and transportation links along with the price. You may be able to secure a cheap property in an undesirable location but keep in mind you may be stuck with it for longer than you want. Having said that, when you find the right property, make a reasonable offer based on market analysis of sales prices of similar homes in the area.
Building Inspections are Important
If you don’t want unexpected and possibly, nasty surprises engage a building inspector before you commit to buying. Building and pest inspectors are trained to look for faults, so expect a list of current and possibly future issues. If you do not understand your report, have the inspector explain any major faults, as minor defects are worth noting but are not usually an issue. If there is a long list of faults and you want to proceed, use the building/ pest report as a negotiating tool. Your building/ pest report will also furnish you with a precise list of issues to be addressed after purchasing the property.
Don’t let the Trials of Searching Exhaust You
Every potential homeowner has hit a wall while searching for their dream home and thought about buying the next property that is almost okay. Misleading agent descriptions, vendors pulling out, being gazumped – it happens to nearly every buyer, but do not despair and buy out of desperation. It is hard looking at properties with excitement and hope, only to discover that they don’t meet your needs or aren’t in the right price bracket. Stop looking for a while, or contact real estate agents you haven’t approached and give them a comprehensive list of your requirements and a firm budget. As discussed in Part 1, you may also like to try a buyer’s agent or advocate, as they often uncover properties that are not on the open market.
We hope our three part series has helped clarify your thoughts and adequately prepare for buying your home. If you need further advice, or would like to discuss your next purchase, we invite you to contact us for a confidential chat today.