The more homework you do before you purchase a property, the more likely you are to make a decision you’ll be happy with in the years to come.
- If you like a property, first ask for a copy of the contract. If it’s a residential property, the vendor must by law have a contract for sale in his/her possession, for prospective purchasers to read, and have checked by their lawyer.
- Check the price, the settlement period and the inclusions. Vendors have been known to take things like dishwashers and TV aerials with them. These details appear on the front page.
- Read the special conditions (which vary the standard contract) and scan the standard printed form for any alterations.
- Check the Certificate of Title and the Deposited Plan for easements, restrictions or other encumbrances. For instance, there may be covenants prohibiting certain structures, or pipes under the ground where you want to build a pool.
- Look at the drainage/sewerage diagram. Any bathrooms or outlets not on the diagram may be illegal additions.
- Then if you’re really serious, give the contract to your solicitor for a professional opinion.
- Check out the values in the area. You can obtain information on recent sales by checking the newspapers or going to the local council. This information is vital if you don’t want to pay more than the market price. Also make enquiries at council about any planned developments in the area that might affect the property.
- If your lawyer is happy with the contract (and you can always ask the vendor if he/she is prepared to amend such things as the amount of deposit, if a deposit bond is acceptable, or the settlement period), you should then have the structure checked by a qualified building inspector and a timber pest control expert. These inspections should be done and your finance approved before you exchange contracts (or ensure that you have a cooling off period).
The above article is merely a guide and does not cover every situation which may arise in a transaction. Please contact our Property Team on 4929 3995 if you wish to discuss any aspect of your proposed purchase with us.