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The 'must dos' when buying your first home

Posted on 10 October 2016

So you've saved your home deposit, and you've discussed your finance options with your lender. You've even been pre-approved for a home loan and conducted real estate research. Now it's time to find the right place for you to call home. But, before you rush out and sign a contract, there's a number of factors that you need to consider. Let's look at these now. 


Building inspections

Having a pre-purchase building inspection carried out before you commit to buy a property is a smart decision. A qualified building inspector will visit the property you want to buy. Here they will conduct a visual inspection that complies with Australian standards and includes all structures on the property. This review typically includes fences, sheds and outbuildings, along with the principal residence.

The inspector will look at the ceilings, floors, windows and walls in the buildings during an inspection. They will also check plumbing, and wet areas, and review the roof and the exterior of the building. They will focus on the structural integrity of the building, and the condition of the property and surrounding outbuildings.

Upon completion of the visual inspection, the inspector will issue you with a report. This document will include any major defects and will give you an overview of the overall condition of the property. If any damage is noted then, the inspector will include this in the report. Photographs may also be used to show you the extent of the damage.

Pest inspections

There are many pests that can cause considerable damage to property. White ants, borers, and wood decay fungi can destroy timber, making a home structurally unsafe. The replacement of any damage can add up to thousands, so it pays to have an inspection before buying.

An experienced and licensed pest inspector will conduct an extensive search of the home you are seeking to buy. The inspector will look for any evidence of pest activity. They'll estimate the severity of any damage, and they'll notify you of the costs for pest removal and protective measures.

Strata reports

When you buy a unit or apartment, you are joining a body corporate who manages any shared facilities. Plus, you'll be asked to pay a fee to maintain these services. Shared services may include a pool, a tennis court, gardens or paved areas, as well as driveways, property access roads, parking bays, elevators and roofs.

A strata report will disclose the details of the body corporate that manage the shared facilities of your strata title. This report will list any levies not previously stipulated. It will also define the body corporate's rules and regulations, and list financial records and any other correspondence. So there will be no hidden nasties and you'll know what you're potentially buying.

Pool safety certifications

In most Australian states and territories, a swimming pool must comply with safety standards. In some areas of Australia, current pool certification is mandatory at the time of property sale. The home must also be on a pool safety register.

If the property has no pool safety certificate, then the seller of the home must issue the prospective buyer with a 'notice of no pool safety certificate'. The buyer of the home will then have to arrange for pool safety certification within 90 days of settlement. A licensed pool inspector issues these certificates.

A pool inspector checks all pool fencing, the structural integrity of the pool and its overall condition. The final report lists any hazards and findings. These may need rectification before a certificate of compliance can be issued.

If you're seeking to buy your first home, don't forget to cover all of your bases before buying. Make sure you check the building thoroughly so you don't encounter any costly repairs later. Compare Inspections can help you save when booking local inspector services. Our network is extensive; we list all prices upfront, and you can view an inspector's history before you hire them.

So, whether you're looking to buy strata titled property, Torrens title or a home with or without a pool, Compare Inspections can assist you. We service New South Wales, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne and Geelong areas, as well as Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Contact us today to find out how we can help you save more when buying your first home.




By Darel McBride


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