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An average person takes around 25 years or so to actually ‘own’ a home! Thus, it is important to find a house that fits your requirements, because, you are probably going to stay in it for many years to come.

 
What to look for when you are inspecting a property?
 

Experts say that it is easy to make small structural changes to a house to make it more suitable for your lifestyle, but you cannot do anything about the location of a house once you purchase it. Thus, instead of looking at the price, it is essential to consider the location of a house as well.

Is it a noisy neighbourhood? What is the distance to the nearest shopping centre? Is there easy access to motorways as well as public transport? The answers to these questions would determine the quality of your life in the future.

Today, we share with you a list of important things you must look out for before purchasing a house:

 
Location – The location of your home will impact your lifestyle. While you want to be closer to nice restaurants, cafes and take-outs, you don’t want to be very close to busy roads or a noisy area. Besides, proximity to the nearest shopping strip, parks, schools and public transport all impact the liveability of a home. Did you know that a great public school in the neighbourhood could add, on average, 3.6 percent to the price of the houses in the area?

It is also established that a house which is a short walk away from the nearest shopping centre and close to public transport is convenient as well as valued higher than one which is located away from these basic amenities.

“As a home buyer, you must also contact the local council to find out about any planned developments in the area, as it can impact the value of your property in the future,” advises John, a mortgage broker.
 
Neighbourhood – Apart from the location of your home, your neighbourhood also impacts the quality of your life. If you are shifting in an area that is populated by youngsters, you can expect noisy clubs and revellers in the neighbourhood, which might not be very comfortable for everyone. Besides, having your home close to a busy street or train lines could not only interfere with your sleep but also reduce the value of your home.

Are you aware that busy streets and train lines were found to devalue homes in Melbourne’s inner suburbs’ by more than $70,000 on average?

“It is a good idea to visit the area at different times of the day, including night, to assess the noise levels in the area. You would also be able to gauge how safe you feel in the new neighbourhood by visiting it a couple of times at different hours,” explains John, who suggests home buyers must also check the crime rate in the area by looking at the stats available on the local police website.

 
Natural light – Plenty of light makes a house feel bigger, brighter and much more liveable. To avoid ending up in a dingy home, take stock of neighbouring constructions as they could block the sunlight. Besides, the aspect of the house also makes a difference – a north or north-west facing house is usually blessed with abundant natural light.
 
A practical floor plan – When you are buying a house, you need one with a functional floor plan that caters to your lifestyle and family size. Today, most families prefer open-plan living, and many are comfortable with a smaller backyard, but would not like to compromise on the bedroom size. As a buyer, you must view each room in the home minutely – taking your own measurements and visualising the property with your furniture to ensure it is the best fit for you.

You can obviously make small changes in the floor plan, but if you plan to break down the bathroom to extend the bedroom or build a new bathroom where there are no existing plumbing lines, you are talking of a lot of expenditure. Thus, it is best to look for a floor plan that suits your lifestyle rather than plan to make structural changes in the house later.

According to Michael Yardney, Metropole Property managing director, “A bad floor plan is a major drawback…It’s not the size of your property that matters but the efficiency of the floor plan.”
 
Building condition and illegal work – It is recommended to hire a professional property inspector to gauge the condition of the building before you purchase it to point out any structural defects such as faults in wiring, plumbing or roof structure that can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Besides, any illegal building work not undertaken by a professional can lead to a heavy fine, or you may be forced to remove the structure or have it re-done by a professional, which could turn out to be quite expensive.

A building inspection can prevent you from running into hefty repair bills and problems in the future.


Think; don’t feel

Buying a home is a major decision that will affect you financially as well as emotionally. As a home buyer, it is always recommended to use your mind over your heart as a hasty purchase could turn out to be expensive and inconvenient in the future.

“It is, often, a good idea to take a friend along to inspect a property who can look at it unemotionally and point out any potential issues you need to think about,” explains John. “Besides, you must assess your home loan as carefully as you assess your home to save more money and avoid mortgage stress in the future. You can always speak to a mortgage broker to help you with your home loan – leaving you enough time to concentrate on purchasing the right home for your family,” he adds.

A good mortgage broker will assess your financial situation and guide you to the right home loan products for your situation. He or she would also lodge the paperwork on your behalf promptly and stand by you throughout the financing process, saving you time, money and hassle. Speak to a mortgage broker or fill up this contact form so that we can put you in touch with one.

HashChing is a borrower-friendly mortgage marketplace offering hundreds of broker pre-negotiated home loan deals that you can compare here.

 

By Vidhu Bajaj,
HashChing Content Writer

 

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