What to Look For When Buying Your New Home in Australia

Young couple looking for a house to buy in Australia.

Ah, the joy of buying a new house! It’s one of the most exhilarating feels. Some kind of ‘you made it’.

However, do you know what to look for when house hunting? If you don’t, there is a chance that you won’t be getting the best bang for your buck, instead, acquiring nothing more than a money pit.

The truth is that if you aren’t prepared to inspect the house thoroughly and know what you have to look for, you won’t get what you pay for. So, what you should look for when buying a new house?

How to Inspect a House on the Market in Australia

With housing prices dropping in Australia’s biggest cities, you may be one of the thousands of people getting ready to spend large amounts of money on a property.

Either if you want to buy a house just to flip it and make a profit, or if you are looking for a family home, this article can help you when choosing your next house.

 What to Inspect on the Outside of the House

Most of the costly repairs are on the outside of the house. Here’s what to ensure that you’ll buy something that is in good condition.

  • The Roof
    Inspecting the roof is one of the most important things that you should do. If the roof of the house isn’t in good condition it will be quite a costly problem to fix.The average price of roof repairs in Australia varies from $4,000 to $14,000. However, this would also depend on the type of material you will choose for your roof and how large the roof area is.
  • The Gutters
    While replacing your gutters isn’t a big renovation, it still is quite costly to repair. The average prices in Australia are around $1,000 – $2,000. It’s also quite messy to repair the gutters.
  • The Outside Walls
    While it is costly to repaint a whole house, it shouldn’t be a turnoff if you are deciding to buy a property or not. Often times you’d have to repaint the outside, just to freshen things up.Instead, if the outside has wooden covers, make sure to inspect for any rot. Inspect the house’s foundation as well. Often times those are near impossible to repair, or cost as much as the house.
  • The Outside Windows
    Having windows in good condition is important in order to keep your house warm in the winter and cold during the hot Australian summer. Inspect the state of the windows. While a chipped or broken glass is easy to repair, the frame of the window is much harder. Make sure they are in good condition.

 What to Inspect on the Inside of the House

The inside problem may be cheaper to repair, however they will surely have to be repaired before you move in. Keep in mind that some of the repairs may cost you as much as a new roof!

  • Evaluate what’s old, not what’s new
    Even a rookie real estate agent knows that a fresh lick of paint on the inside will make you more likely to purchase the property. Instead, make sure that you take a look at what’s old.Are there old light fixtures? Rooms that look bad or have mold? Any loose wires coming from the wall?

    All of these can be a problem, so make sure to note down everything that you don’t like about the house.

  • Sniff around the house
    You may end up looking silly, but make sure that you sniff around the house. Try to find the smell of gas, sewage or dampness in the air.The smell of gas may mean that there is a gas leakage in the home, which is dangerous for you and your family.

    If you find that there is a smell of sewage then there is most likely a problem with the plumbing, which is very expensive to repair.

    Damp air can indicate there is a mold problem in the house.

  • Test everything
    Try out light switches, faucets, doors, knobs, windows, flush the toilet, test any appliances that the home may come with. After all, you are paying for something that is supposed to be working, if you find it doesn’t operate properly then you may have a reason for the seller to lower the price.
  • Make sure everything in the house is well insulated
    While in Australia it doesn’t get that cold in the winter, you’d want to make sure that the attic, basement, water pipes, heating and cooling ducts are properly insulated.This would save you a lot of money when you have to pay your bills.
  • The storage space the house has
    It’s often neglected, but it turns to be a real problem once you start moving in. Make sure you evaluate how much storage space the house has and if it’s enough for you.
  • Check the fuse board and power outlets
    You wouldn’t want to invest in a home with bad wiring. Make sure to inspect all wiring, the fuse board and the power outlets. If you aren’t sure in your skills, take someone with you who knows his business.

 Other Things to Look For When House Hunting

There are some other things as well. Here’s what else you’ll have to know when house hunting.

  • Going house hunting without knowing what kind of mortgage you’re entitled to.

  • Not asking for a punch list
    You can’t inspect everything in a day. When buying a house where someone already lives there will be some kinds of problems that you’ll have to fix. And that’s absolutely normal. However, make sure to ask for a punch list after acquiring the property. Instead of wasting your time for searching for problems you’ll be able to tackle the problems as soon as you get the house.
  • Not hiring a professional to inspect the house
    You, as a potential buyer, have the right to hire an independent professional to inspect the house.

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