On a list of stressful life experiences, buying a property consistently ranks near the top. And with good reason. It is a huge financial commitment.
Luckily, there are a few simple ways to make the process a little bit easier. Here are five property buying tips that can help reduce the stress of the experience.
Get proper advice from qualified professionals
Perhaps the single most important step you can take to ensure a trouble-free property buying process is to enlist the help of qualified professionals. A banker, accountant or lender can determine how much you can afford to spend. A real estate agent can help you find a property in that price range. And a lawyer can help you avoid making costly mistakes by identifying issues including, but not limited to:
- Improper building additions or renovations that may have to be removed or changed at your expense.
- Problems with current title deeds and legal ownership of the property that may complicate the deal or cause it to fall through.
- Legal matters that can have adverse affects on property value and development.
A lawyer well versed in commercial and residential real estate can also help you avoid potential pitfalls by reviewing any and all relevant documents before you sign them.
Don’t let your emotions govern your decisions
When buying a property, falling in love at first sight is not always a good thing. If anything, it can sometimes be counterproductive. This is because the actual purchase is strictly a business and financial transaction, and should be handled as such.
While it is important to keep this in mind throughout the process, it is especially important when you inspect the property. Remember, sellers will sometimes use ‘smoke and mirrors’ such as cosmetic upgrades to conceal serious structural deficiencies. Even something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can hide significant damage. Sometimes, the current owner is simply unaware of significant issues with the house. In either case, you should be careful to look beyond the aesthetics.
Once you’ve done your own inspection, hire a professional inspector, who will easily identify both minor and significant issues. If need be, you can get an architecture report, which will also identify any outstanding issues and save you money in the long run.
Be sure to read the fine print
By their nature, real estate contracts are complex legal and financial documents. Even so, it is important that you read it thoroughly and ask your lawyer or other relevant professional about any aspects of the contract you don’t understand before you sign it.
By taking this simple step, you can easily identify potential issues that would otherwise be expensive or take a lot of time to address in the long run.
Identify land use and related issues early on
There’s nothing more aggravating than buying a property based on the assumption that you can make certain changes or use it in a certain way – only to find out afterwards that you can’t. That’s why it’s important to research (or have your lawyer research) any rules and regulations that dictate how the property can be used or changed. Examples include restrictive covenants or planning overlays.
Don’t assume the property valuation is accurate
Basically, there are three key issues at the crux of every residential and commercial real estate transaction:
- the asking price;
- what the buyer expects or is willing to pay;
- what constitutes a fair/reasonable/acceptable offer.
Accurate valuation of the property is important because it affects all three of these issues. As the winning bidder at auction, or as a buyer who signed an unconditional contract, an accurate valuation ensures that you paid a fair price. On the other hand, an inaccurate valuation may cause you to pay more than what the property is really worth. And because nobody wants to do that, it’s advisable to use an accredited professional to ascertain an accurate valuation.
In summary, purchasing a property can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are doing it for the first time. But it doesn’t have to be. You can make the process easier by consulting qualified professionals, approaching it rationally rather than emotionally, reading contracts carefully and asking plenty of questions before signing them. Identifying land use issues early on and enlisting the services of an accredited valuer are also important steps you can take to achieve peace of mind.
To learn more about how we can help you purchase a property, contact our Gold Coast lawyers today.