We know the excitement when you are about to secure the house of your dreams or perhaps, owning your own home. All those months of inspections and talking to agents have finally led to this, and you eagerly anticipate signing your name on the dotted line.
Before you get carried away by your emotions, however, pause and consider some of the more practical aspects of your acquisition:
1. When are you required to effect settlement, and will you be able to secure funds in time?
If settlement is within a short period, ask yourself whether your loan will be ready. Anticipate that things take time: Approval takes time to issue and documents take time to be drafted and sent. Speak to someone in the bank, and ask them about realistic timeframes and allow yourself a bit more time in case things are delayed. If your settlement is not until a few years into the future, monitor changing lending conditions and be prepared for the unexpected.
- How much are you purchasing the property based upon your emotions?
Yes, that rug and sofa combination really bring out the ‘scandi’ vibe, but what is left when you take that away? Is the house secretly crumbling in places obstructed from view by those lovely fiddle leaf pot plants? The walk-in closet might be big, but the cost of buying a structurally unsound property is bigger. Look for things like water damage, cracks and other signs of damage. We don’t recommend you move sofas and furniture around during your inspection like a crazed person, however we do recommend getting a pest and building inspection report (or including it in your contract special conditions).
- Paying for things you do not need.
Sometimes buying a house is like buying a car, albeit a lot more expensive (unless maybe you drive a Pagani). You can get side-tracked by all the ‘bells and whistles’, things that you are paying for that you don’t need. Would you like to add in Hands-Free Access Power Tailgate? Panoramic sunroof? Built in vacuum cleaners? Maybe, maybe not, depending on your use. This is particularly the case in apartments. You might have a New Years’ Resolution to work out, but how often will you be using the gym or pool that you’re paying for through your Owners’ Corporation? Don’t get me wrong, having facilities and security are great (goodbye gym membership). However, you need to be honest with yourself and do a bit of your own cost-benefit analysis.
- Do your own homework.
It goes without saying that, no-one looks after your interests like yourself. Spend some time to research the area you are buying, the market trends, facilities, etc. Read up on your entitlements to stamp duty concessions and exemptions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It may seem boring, but there’s a saying that -Knowledge is Power-!