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6 things to consider when buying a house


Buying a house is massive.

It is likely one of the biggest purchases you will make in your entire lifetime. Don’t Worry – We Got You!

Buying a new home can be a long and strenuous process.

What can I afford? Where should I buy? What should I look for?

The ball is in your court.

But with a little help from the experts at Semple Property Group – we have put together a comprehensive list of the most important things to consider when buying a house

So, sit back, relax, grab yourself a coffee – (Irish if you prefer), and strap yourself in for a list of our best considerations to assess when buying your new home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Be realistic with your budget

  • Research the local area

  • Know your neighbourhood

  • Think about schooling for kids

  • Housing layout features.

  • Any issues with the property

1. Be realistic with your budget It’s important to assess your current monthly cash flow to calculate your current income, outgoings, and savings criteria. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford and are willing to spend on monthly house repayments, rates, bills, stamp duty and other associated costs of owning a home.

It’s also crucial to factor in potential interest rate rises, maintenance costs and future expenses – a new car or starting a family.

Affordability is the key There are several situational factors involved that will dictate your borrowing power. To avoid disappointment, consider getting a home loan pre-approval from your bank or lender to find out how much they are willing to lend you first.

Once you assess your cash flow and borrowing capabilities you will have a greater understanding of your price range and how much you can afford when purchasing your new home.

The majority of buyers purchase their homes through a trusted real estate agent or mortgage broker. As property experts they can help you with pricing expertise, negotiation, tackling paperwork, requesting repairs, house hunting and sticking inside the walls of your budget.

This will help ease the burden of the buying process and provide peace of mind that your mortgage won’t become too overwhelming.

Remember – Be realistic about your situation


2. Research the local area Do extensive research on the area you wish to call home. It’s important to be well informed on the ins and outs of your new suburb and whether it suits your lifestyle.

You may want to consider:

  • Shopping facilities

  • Health facilities

  • Restaurants and cafes

  • Planned developments.

  • Public transport

  • School zones

  • Local council fees and initiatives

  • Parks and recreational facilities

  • Population growth

  • Internet speed and connectivity

  • Safety and crime rate

If you can find an area that ticks most boxes and falls within your budget, you are well on the way to finding a home that may be right for you. 3. Know your neighbourhood When you narrow it down to an area you like, it is a good idea to inspect the local neighbourhood. Strike up a conversation with locals in the area, whether it be in the vicinity of the street you are looking to buy on, shoppers from the local shopping centre, or online forums and chat groups on social media.

Check the surrounding neighbour’s front yards for signs of dodgy or undesirable tenants. Things like rubbish, car wrecks, broken glass, and dogs constantly barking are all signs of bad neighbours.

Noise can also be an issue and is often missed when purchasing a new home. What may seem like a quiet, friendly neighbourhood during the day can turn into a nightmare in the evening with rowdy neighbours, teenage parties, and hoons.

Consider visiting the area at different times of the day and night to help gauge a better understanding of what it may be like living in the area.


4. Schooling for kids

If you have kids, are thinking of having kids or are an investor, then buying a house in an area close to a decent school is something you may want to consider.

Considerations include:

  • Distance to and from decent schools

  • School zoning and catchment areas

  • Crime rate and public safety

  • Public transport options

According to data gathered from a recent REA survey, over 30% of home buyers mentioned that the distance to a good school was a key factor in deciding where to buy. Not only can it provide your kids with a good education at a decent school but increase your property value over time. 5. Housing layout features

It may seem obvious but it’s essential to understand and assess the layout features of the house itself. This will help you prioritise houses that accommodate your needs and eliminate those that don’t quite cut the mustard.

Layout features to consider include:

Lot size: Do you prefer a big or small block of land? Corner, interior, or cul-de-sac? What about the shape? Length and size of the driveway, lawn, backyard, or level of privacy? Or opportunities to add another structure – garage, workshop, or pool? House age: Is the house new? Any recent renovations? Older houses may possess more character yet require more repairs and upgrades. So, it’s important to factor this into your budget if you decide to go down this path. Bedroom configuration: The size of your current and potential future family will help dictate the size and number of bedrooms you require. Do you have regular guests stay over and require a guest bedroom? Even if you don’t have regular guests, an extra bedroom can be beneficial as an office, exercise room, or extra storage. Do your bedrooms face the west? Bedrooms that face the west receive the sun at the hottest time of the day, heating your bedroom all year round. Number of Bathrooms: What size and style of a bathroom would best suit you and/or your family? Older homes may only have one bathroom so you may need to consider if one bathroom is sufficient or if there is an opportunity to add another. Most newer houses come with two or more bathrooms, however it’s important to consider the size, style, bathtub, spa, shower and/or handicap accessibility requirements to accommodate your needs. Kitchen layout Are you someone that cooks daily for a small or large family? Someone living on their own or as a couple may like something quick and easy, where the microwave will normally suffice. Your cooking habits and the size of your family will help determine the size of the kitchen you require. Do you need a standard size kitchen or are you someone that requires larger counter space, sinks, a dishwasher, or storage space?


6. Any issues with the property When you have found a house that is right for you, you need to make sure to check its current condition for any major issues. Getting professionals in to inspect the property is highly recommended and could save you thousands of dollars in maintenance and repair costs down the track.

But before you jump the gun and call in the pros, we have put together a personal checklist for you to follow.

Make sure to personally check for:

Structure:

  • Sagging ceilings

  • Cracks in the walls and internal wall plastering

  • Uneven and cracked flooring

  • Damage to windows or door frames

  • Holes and rust in gutters

  • Blocked or damaged downpipes

  • Loose or dangling wires

  • Asbestos

  • Soakwells

Electrical:

  • Functional power points

  • Lighting

  • Electrical panel and circuit breakers

  • Grounded outlets

Plumbing:

  • Water pressure

  • Toilets

  • Leaks in the house and around drainage areas

  • Hot water – kitchen and bathrooms

Kitchen/bathrooms

  • Corrosion or visible water stains in sinks, showers, and baths

  • Mould or mildew build-up

  • Leaking taps

  • Grouting issues

Outdoor areas

  • Backyard, patio, and/or deck damage

  • Garage maintenance issues or damages

  • Garden and lawn size and condition

  • Driveway condition

To save you time and money it is a good idea to assess the house yourself first if possible. If you are happy with your findings, then call in the professionals to check the property over properly. They will often dive deeper into the heart of your new home to make sure there aren’t any unseen structural issues, pest infestations, electrical, gas, water issues and other associated problems before you buy. So there you have it!

Our comprehensive guide of things to consider when buying a house. At Semple Property Group we understand that buying a house can be a complex process. So, to make sure there are no nasty hidden surprises involved when choosing your next home, give a Semple Real Estate Agent a call at (08) 9494 2606 and let us help find the home that is right for you.

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