Need to knows when buying property: MCL Conveyancing – Property Conveyancing Experts
The questions you might not think to ask!
The property market has got to be one of, if not, THE hottest trending topic in conversations across bars, dinner tables, kitchen benches and workplaces. A property purchase is not a seasonal decision to be updated next year. Buying property, whether for residential or investment purchases, is a medium to a long-term decision and one which requires plenty of knowledge, planning and consideration.
Despite how expert someone may sound, not everyone or likely anyone has all the answers to the perfect property buying experience, but to ensure you are at least well-equipped, you need to know what questions to ask. Whether you’re on the house-hunting trail yourself or simply want to impress and join the convo, here are some of the ‘need to knows’ when buying property.
How long has the property been listed for?
How long a property has been up for sale is essential as it may indicate problems with the price or the property itself and arm you with a negotiating tool. If it’s been on the market for quite some time, the owner may be more open to negotiations.
Of course, some people snoop through open for inspections and seeing the fragments of the owner’s personal life on display may give you an indication of who they are. But what you really need to know is why they are selling. It may sound too personal to ask but really, it is important. Are they moving interstate or overseas? Change in relationship status? Downsizing or upsizing with arrival or departure of offspring? Take it all in and you can get a pretty good idea of their deadline for selling. Moving for job purposes etc may mean they are in a hurry to sell and open to offers. Whereas comfortable baby boomers on the downsize may just be happy to rent it out rather than accept a lower price.
Had any good offers lately?
Be very upfront with this question and make sure you specify ‘on the property’ to avoid misunderstandings. Agents are usually a tad uneasy when asked this very direct question and will use the usual realty-speak (which is quite removed from real speak) to answer you. But do persist as the answer will give you an indication of the vendor’s expectations, what others perceive as the property’s worth and definitely let you know if it is in your ballpark.
Can I afford it?
Now, this is a very personal question and not one to be taken lightly. While you may be desperate to get into the property market, at what cost to your lifestyle? What are you prepared to sacrifice to fit the mortgage payments into your budget? Will you be happy forgoing the annual week away to pay for unforeseen renovations or repairs? Are you in the short-term or long-term mindset? Consult with your bank or financial advisor to assist you with the budgeting and be realistic!!! We have a lot of resources on our website which may also assist you focus.
Has it had work done?
We’ve all watched enough reality reno shows to know what structural issues can be easily concealed with a WOW room makeover. It may look amazing but you need to ask what renovations have been done and consult with a building professional to assess whether these are merely covering up a more serious structural issue. “Buy once, buy well” applies here also. Structural issues can be very costly to rectify and if you do have some of your own ideas regarding renovating, get some quotes to ensure they fit your budget. Look especially for any signs of mould, leaks and cracks in the walls that could signal something sinister. Pull back the curtains and really have a good look outside to see who can see you. You don’t want the awkward situation of bedroom to bedroom or worse, to bathroom sight lines from neighbouring properties
What secrets are lurking beyond the view?
It’s definitely not creepy or nosey to check out the neighbours when considering a property purchase. It’s simply common sense and highly advisable. What are the neighbours like, is not something the agent is obliged to reveal and they may not even know. So do your own research to check them out – search online, drive around the area at varying times to see what goes on ‘next door’ and get chatty with others inspecting the property or perhaps hanging over the fence checking it all out. Besides the neighbours, you need to check out the land itself and surrounding areas for pest issues and possible issues in the area. It goes without saying, but we will say it, always get an independent building and pest inspection yourself – never rely solely on documentation provided by the vendor.
Do I see myself living here?
Committing to buying a property to live in is at least a medium if not long-term relationship, so you want to be certain it is the right decision. Apart from the obvious – is there enough space for all your treasures, security, parking – think of the area. Is this where I really want to live for the next whatever number of years? That is a question only you can answer, but no doubt your friends will have plenty of input – whether requested or not!
Once you have all these answers sorted, you will be well on your way to making that all important decision to purchase or not to purchase a particular property.
You’ll also have a wealth of property knowledge to share and impress.
Contact the Property Conveyancing experts
But before you sign any documents, please contact us for professional property conveyancing services. There are many issues in regard to Queensland property contracts which require attention prior to signing. Check out our website for my resources and get in touch.
Our team is extremely experienced in conveyancing matters and we don’t mind what questions you throw at us – awkward or not!