Purchasing a new home is a huge milestone. If this is your first time doing so, you may find that the entire process seems overwhelming. You will be on the receiving of lots of advice and, at times, conflicting information. In order to mitigate the confusion and cut to the chase, there are a vital number of steps you can take that will alleviate the tension and deliver you the result you’re looking for.
New Homeowners Checklist
Get an expert opinion
The first thing you should do is to undertake an expert building and pest inspection. This will present you with a complete picture of the property – both good and bad.
Undertaking a building and pest inspection early in the process (before your purchase goes unconditional) will put you in a powerful decision and potentially provide a means to negotiate the asking price. Should any major problems arise that will make ownership both difficult and costly, you’ll also have grounds to back out of the process if you need to.
Choose your building and pest inspector wisely. Don’t go with the suggestions made by real estate agents – secure the services of an independent inspector who will have your best interests at heart.
Your inspector will help you understand the following issues and how they may impact your ownership:
- Any cracks in the interior or exterior walls
- Your plumbing system
- The presence of any harmful pests or termites
- The presence of asbestos and what that might mean for the future of the property
Check the room layout and align it with your future plans
Will you be considering renovations in the future? Additions to the family? Is there appropriate storage? If this is to be your forever home, you’re likely to want to make changes to it in years to come.
Transforming a home takes time and a considerable budget. You must have serious conversations about how feasible this will be. You can factor in renovations to your home loan but first consider whether this home can truly provide the kind of building blocks that you’re looking for.
The kitchen and the bathroom are the most common areas to see renovations. Some of your changes might require council approval so it’s best to get expert opinions early on to factor all costs into your planning.
Check the cooling and heating systems
These are vital for anywhere in Australia. The ability to effectively heat or cool your home is one that simply cannot be ignored. Does the home have the capacity to provide for you in the cooler or warmer months? Ask questions early because the installation of air conditioning systems further down the track may be more costly than you realise.
A Floor For All
Will you be upgrading from carpet to take on a floorboard lifestyle instead? It’s good to know from the start what you’ll be getting into. See if you can lift the carpets to take a proper look at the challenge that awaits you early on in the piece.
Wiring and Power Supplies
Your property inspector will be able to point to these problems early on and then you can hire an electrician to do a safety check once their report is complete. Replacing wiring is costly and can be time consuming. Are there enough power points? Is the set up safe? These are all vital questions to ask yourself at this point in the process.
The Great Outdoors
Consider the outside of the home. Take a good look at what needs attention, consider the type of garden that makes your heart sing and go from there. Look past the occasional weed to see the potential of making this space truly your own.