5 questions to ask before buying a house
Buying a house is such an exciting time, that sometimes the most important pieces get glossed over, only to come crashing down later on in the purchasing process – with little you can do about them then.
We want the process of purchasing a house to be an exciting and happy one, so here are the top 5 questions you should be asking about the property you’ve got your eye on, to make sure it’s a good decision for your heart as well as your wallet.
Questions to ask before buying a house:
Do I need a building inspection done on the house I want to buy?
A lot of people sign contracts ‘subject to a building inspection’ which is a great way to safe guard yourself against uncovering major structural defects not visible from the outside. Although a contract signed with this condition will allow you to withdraw from purchasing the property if any major issues are found, it doesn’t safeguard you against any minor defects found.
Even though the word minor sounds ok, it could still mean you’re out of pocket thousands of dollars to fix so, we recommend getting a building inspection completed BEFORE you put in an offer. This way, you can adjust your offer according to what’s found, or you can walk away will your deposit still in your account.
What do I need to know if the previous owners have renovated the house themselves?
With a plethora of home renovation shows on the box these days, it appears every second person thinks they’re a bona fide tradie. If there has been work done to a property by the owner in the six years and six months pre-contract, they automatically become an owner-builder and must, by law, include a Defects Report in the Section 32 for the property. Even if they didn’t need a Building Permit to complete the works – it doesn’t mean they can sell the house carefree.
If there is no Defects Report in the Section 32, you will almost certainly be able to withdraw from the contract at any time prior to settlement.
Can I sign the contract without engaging a conveyancer?
Although it may seem obvious, so many people sign contracts without getting legal advice first. You wouldn’t buy a second-hand car without getting it looked over by a mechanic, so why buy a house without having the contract looked over first? Conveyancers know what they’re looking for in property contracts and can identify hidden details before you sign your hard-earned money away.
Here at the Hrkac Group, we look over your contracts for free – so it’s really a no-brainer.
Where should I buy an investment property?
So you’ve worked hard and saved some money and you’re looking to invest in property. Great, but looking for an investment property and looking for a house to live in yourself are completely different.
Remember, if you’re looking for an investment property, you’re not planning to live in it yourself so you can expand your horizons. Look outside the suburbs you want to live in, you don’t even have to like it – that doesn’t mean it’s a bad investment.
You’ll need to decide what sort of investment property you’re after though – do you want high rental income, or capital growth promise? Looking for a low maintenance place, or are you capable of being the on-call handyman?
Should I put my name on the contract?
If you own a business, it could be a smart move to leave your name off the house contract. To protect your assets, so that if you get sued at work, putting your partner’s name on the contract will remove that asset from the proceedings, keeping it protected against being taken in the legal settlement.
Although this sounds simple enough, there are always other factors to consider – like the effects this will have on your, and your partner’s tax return. Here at the Hrkac Group though, we are a full-service firm so we have an accounting team, a legal team and a mortgage broking team to cover the entire process in house.
So, if you’re thinking about buying a new property, you should start by calling the Hrkac Group and talk to our Legal Services team, and we can take care of things from there. Call us on 03 5224 2366 or contact us here.