7 Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a Property

7 Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a Property

You don’t need all the answers, but you won’t be ready to buy until you have these seven questions sorted.

By Candice Jackson | 4th August 2016

House hunting can be a long, gruelling process, and it’s definitely more of an art than a science. You might inspect and bid on plenty of properties before finding “the one”.

You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The relentless searches are seemingly over. This is the PERFECT home. Before you get totally whisked away, you need to put your emotions aside and start asking some tough questions.

Buying a property requires a lot of consideration, planning, research, patience and careful budgeting. While it can be a life-changing moment, these questions should NEVER go unanswered before buying a property.

1. How long has the property been on the market?

Why you need to ask:

-    If the property has been on the market a long time (more than two months) there might be something wrong with the property or it may be priced incorrectly.
-    Owners who are tired of waiting to sell off their property may be more open to accepting a reduced offer.
-    The agent’s response to this question might subtly reveal other problems with the property that you may be unaware of.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a House, buy a house, first home, renovations, neighbours

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2. Why is the vendor selling?

Why you need to ask:
-    Knowing their motivations will make it easier for you to assess how eager they are to sell and/or their deadline for selling.
-    If they are moving interstate or overseas, the owners may be interested in a quick sale and may accept a lower offer.
-    If they’re simply looking to downsize, the owners may be willing to hold on to the property for as long as it takes to get the right price for them.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a House, buy a house, first home, renovations, neighbours

Image: Giphy

3. Has the property had previous offers and what were they?

Why you need to ask:

- Finding out previous offers and why they were declined can give you an idea of what the owner is willing to accept. This can be especially beneficial in an “offers over” situation where the price is not explicitly specified.
- Knowing what other buyers have offered for the property will give you a good idea of how other people value the same space. You should always check out comparable properties to see if the asking price is realistic.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a House, buy a house, first home, renovations, neighbours

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4. Can I/ we really afford this?

Why you need to ask:

-    While you may have budgeted enough for a 20 per cent deposit, you still need to plan for unexpected hidden costs and ongoing costs and repayments.
-    The 20 per cent deposit is only the start; have you considered whether the mortgage repayments will fit within your budget?
-    Have you budgeted for minor or major renovations you may need to implement when moving into the property?
-    It’s a good idea to check with the bank to see if you can be approved for a loan at a certain amount before making any kind of offer. You don’t want to make an offer and find out later that it’s not feasible.
-    Look into the possibility of extending the settlement period if you need more time to pay your deposit.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a House, buy a house, first home, renovations, neighbours

Image: Giphy

5. Does it need renovations and are those renovations cosmetic or structural?

Why you need to ask:

-    You don’t want to buy a property and find out later that there is massive structural damage that would require thousands of dollars to repair.
-    If you’re willing to undertake renovations, it’s best to budget this into your finances. If possible, get quotes from trade professionals about the work to determine how much you might be in for.
-    Would you be able to live comfortably in the house without completing these renovations?

Questions to Ask Before Buying a House, buy a house, first home, renovations, neighbours

Image: Giphy

6. Are there any known issues with the property, land, area or neighbours’ properties?

Why you need to ask:

-    While the selling agent is obliged by law to tell you the truth about a property when you ask, you should always do your own independent research, inspections and ask surrounding neighbours and businesses about the property and area.
-    Never waive a building and pest inspection. You may find results of water issues such as leaks and mould, or other damage such as cracking in the walls or evidence of termites. The inspector will also be able to identify any bad handyman jobs that you might not have picked up on and which could affect your upkeep on the property in the long-term.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a House, buy a house, first home, renovations, neighbours

Image: Giphy

7. Will the property suit my lifestyle?

Why you need to ask:

-    If you’re going to live in this property, you need to know that there’s room for you to grow (especially if you’re expecting any new additions to your family), and if it can hold all your personal belongings and fit your car/s in the garage and driveways.
-    You’re not only committing to the house, but also the neighbourhood. Do you love the area as well as the house?
-    If you have some little rituals, such as having a nice breakfast on the deck, make sure your possible new home doesn’t look directly into the neighbour’s bedroom. Awkward.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a House, buy a house, first home, renovations, neighbours

Image: Giphy

Commonwealth Bank
commbank.com.au

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Article by Candice Jackson

Candice Jackson is a former Journalist of Style Magazines. She has an uncontrollable sweet tooth, an irrational fear of birds and a love of travel. Candice believes in the Yes Man Philosophy.

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