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Tips for House Hunting

Tips for House Hunting




Make use of a notebook to record details of the home visited. Confusion may arise after viewing more than one home.




View the property during the week, over weekends, in daylight and at night. On busy roads, traffic and noise must be considered.




Do you feel confident about your ability to purchase the home after working through our financial qualification forms?




Can you identify yourself and your lifestyle in this particular suburb or area?


Property Size:


Is there adequate space to extend or build on? Space for a large garden, swimming pool? Proximity to neighbours? Will a smaller property offer better security?




Is the property near schools, shops, parks, sports facilities? Are the surroundings attractive? Is it near bus routes, busy roads, business or industrial sites? Is there smoke or dust pollution? Is it secure or a high crime risk area? Is it next to a more expensive or lower priced suburb? If the area is built up, how do the neighbouring homes compare? Is the home you are interested in of the same standard as the others? Are they well maintained and are people improving their homes?


Aspect and Composition:


North or South entry; North or South slope; morning or afternoon sun; shaded by neighbouring homes or trees; overlooked by neighbouring houses, flats or offices; in a valley (frost or floods); on crest (windy); flat or sloping (view versus expense of building); rocky (solid, but expensive foundations and difficult gardening); clay (expensive foundations, possibility of cracks, difficult gardening)?


Future Development:


Check the local Authority and Residents’ Associations for plans of possible highways or roads, shopping centres, school or sports centres, new townships, rezoning for business or factories, power lines.





The house itself




Facing towards sun; proximity to road; paving; number of bedrooms, bathrooms and separate toilets; separate dining room, size of lounge, study; size of the kitchen, laundry, pantry; single or double garage, with or without direct access to house; outbuildings; swimming pool properly walled or fenced; possibility of extensions.


Features and Fixtures:


Quality of workmanship and materials; design of kitchen fittings; tiling in bathrooms and kitchen; flooring; fitted carpets; built-in cupboards; number of electric sockets; number of hot water geysers; under-floor heating; paving of outdoor areas; access to outdoor areas; sliding doors; size and placement of windows (light and views); double or single storey; split-level (danger of steps for children and elderly); burglar bars, alarm system and/or other security features.




Large enough for your needs, small enough to manage; soil; drainage; established garden; borehole; irrigation system; high or low maintenance required.


General Conditions:


Look for cracks or signs of cracks which have been patched and may reopen in dry weather. Check ceilings for marks which may indicate water leaks. Ensure that the control and motors for any security system, electrical gate or garage doors are in working order. Check swimming pool for leakages or cracks and ensure that the pool filter and pump are in good working order. If there is a borehole on the property, check the borehole pump.


Agreement of Sale Documents:


Ensure that the agreement is fully explained and understood by you before committing yourself to paper. Take note of the fixtures and fittings. Should the agent forget to mention them, remember to ask and to stipulate them in the contract. Written provision must be made in the Agreement of Sale document for alterations, additions, inspections or suspensive conditions agreed to by the parties. In order to ensure that the registration of transfer proceeds as quickly as possible, your co-operation with the transferring attorneys and financial institutions from whom you are obtaining the bond, is of paramount importance.