The Ultimate Checklist for Buying Your First Property
Buying your first property can be a daunting task—and in more ways than one. If only it was as easy as browse, select, and purchase! On the contrary, there is a long list of considerations, prerequisites and research to be addressed before an exchange of keys takes place. Nicole Jacobs, director of Jacobs Buyers Advocates has made the overwhelming task a seamless one by creating the ultimate checklist, listing everything you need to know pre-purchase. Read on to find out exactly what is required before you purchase a property and ensure you have a big tick in every single box. Happy house hunting!
- Speak with your bank or mortgage broker.
- Get finance approval in writing.
- Have you calculated and factored in outgoings, stamp duty, owner’s corporation fees and rates?
- Set your price limit.
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Off-street parking
- New or established
- Close to family and friends.
- Close to work.
- Infrastructure that is important: Train, bus, bike path etc.
- Proximity to parks, beach, and shops.
- Choose a maximum of four suburbs to limit confusion.
- Set up key property alerts online.
- Call agents prior to viewing a property.
- Visit as many opens and auctions as possible.
- Know your market and competition.
- Leave your emotions at the door.
- View the property a second time and at a different time of day .
- Have your non-negotiable checklist and tick each item off.
- Don’t be persuaded by the selling agent—they work for the vendor.
- No fist pumping in the air or squeals of delight when you think you have found ‘the one’.
Before you bid or make an offer you MUST do your due diligence. As a minimum:
- Get the contracts checked by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer.
- Engage a licensed building and pest company to look over the property.
- Check local council planning applications to adjoining properties.
- Check settlement terms being offered—do they suit you?
- Check on deposit requirements and payment terms—do they require a cheque or direct deposit the next business day?
- Auction—have your auction strategy in advance.
- Private sale—offers should always be in writing. Negotiate but don’t be too greedy, you may miss out over $1000.
Your solicitor or conveyancer will be checking contracts, speaking with the other side and making sure any special conditions have been met, arranging settlement times, deposit transfers, and finance lender co-ordination for transfer of title.
- Take out building insurance on the property you have just purchased as soon as you exchange contracts—do not rely on the vendor having insurance.
- Arrange a pre-settlement inspection to ensure the property is as it was when you purchased it—if there are problems, document and send to your solicitor.
- Get removalist quotes.
- Arrange for electricity, gas, and water to be changed over on settlement day.
- Give current landlord written notice to vacate.
- Solicitor or conveyancer will issue you with a settlement statement outlining funds to be transferred, rates, water and sewerage charges, strata levies, registration fees, and money required to settle.
- Solicitor or conveyancer under your instructions will carry out the transfer of title and payment instructions with all concerned.
- Solicitors fees are generally taken out at this stage.
- Once settlement has been processed, you will be notified by your solicitor or conveyancer and you can pick up the keys from the selling agents office!
Nicole Jacobs, Director, Jacobs Buyers Advocates
Document your property non-negotiables and checklist in style with a new pen and notebook.