Property Buying Guide
Things to consider when purchasing a property include:
- CHECK CONTRACT: You should examine the Contract of Sale and Vendor’s Statement (often referred to as a ‘Section 32’). Make sure you understand what each term means.
- GET LEGAL ADVICE: The Contract of Sale & Vendor’s Statement should be checked by properly qualified property lawyer prior to signing the Contract. Contact us.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK: You should visit the property at various times in the day to assess the noise, traffic, neighbours and smells. Check that the price you propose to pay is in line with comparable market prices.
- DOCUMENT ALL PROMISES AND COMMITMENTS IN WRITING: Make sure anything verbally promised to you by the selling agent or the Vendor, is then documented in writing in the Contract, if it is not in the Contact of Sale it cannot be relied upon.
- INSPECT: Inspect the property carefully, as ‘buyer beware’ is the ruling principle that applies in all purchases. If in doubt, get a professional building inspection. You might also consider a pest inspection be obtained prior to signing the Contract of Sale.
- MEASURE LAND: Measure the land to confirm the area on Title accords with its physical size and distance from the nearest cross street.
- RESTRICTIONS: You should check whether there are any restrictions as to use of the property.
- EASEMENTS: An easement is an interest in land which grants a person the right to use the land of another. The most common form of easement is where a Government authority has the right to run electrical mains or drainage through private property. Another example is where a neighbour has the right to use the driveway of an adjoining property. It is important to check for any registered easements (which appear on Title) and unregistered easements (private agreements).
- CHATELLS & FIXTURES: Chattels and fixtures will be listed in the Contract. Check the Vendor’s inclusions and exclusions.
- RENOVATIONS, EXTENSIONS & RECENT BUILDING WORK: Has the house has been recently built or renovated? You should check with the local council to ensure that the Vendor obtained the appropriate building permits. Illegal alterations could become your responsibility. Also, check whether you will have the benefit of any builders warranty insurance or owner builders warranty insurance covering the building works for a certain number of years. Owner Builders must provide certain promises (Warranties) in their contracts.
- RATES & TAXES: Make sure you consider the annual outgoings applicable with the purchase of the property, including Council rates, Water rates and possibly Owners Corporation fees and land tax fees.
- AREA: Make enquiries as to what future developments will be undertaken within the area of the property and how they will effect you.
- GOVERNMENT CHARGES: Consideration should be given to government costs such as Stamp Duty and Titles Office fees.
- CONNECTION OF SERVICES: You should ensure that all services you want are connected, such as gas, electricity, water, sewerage, telephone and NBN.
- ZONING & TOWN PLANNING: It is important to check the zoning of the property. Is a residential dwelling located in an industrial zoned area? Can you keep certain types of animals as pets on the property? The local Council should be contacted to check whether there are any breaches of the zoning and planning provisions.
- FUNDS: Determine your budget and arrange finance. If finance is an issue you should consider making the Contract of Sale conditional upon you obtaining finance? Do you have pre-approval from bank or other lender.
- DEPOSIT: Do you have access to enough funds to be able to pay 10% of the purchase price on the day of or a few day of signing the Contract of Sale.
- LEASE: Is the property currently tenanted and will it still be subject to a lease at settlement.
- SETTLEMENT: What are the settlement terms that you will be seeking what terms is the Vendor willing to offer, if you need to obtain finance how long will your bank need to be ready.
- FOREIGN INVESTOR: Are you not an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent residence then you may be considered a foreign investor? Will you need to obtain the approval of the Foreign Investments Review Board (FIRB)?
- AUCTION: Do you need someone to help you bid at Auction? A ‘buyers advocate’ may be able to assist you.
- COOLING OFF: You may be entitled to cool off (due to change of mind) and therefore cancel the Contract in limited circumstances and within a limited timeframe of making your offer to purchase.
This list is not exhaustive and you must consult a properly qualified legal professional before signing a contract of sale of real estate. Contact us for further information.
Buying Unit, Flat, Townhouse
Additional things to consider when buying unit, flat or townhouse include:
- COMMON PROPERTY
- INSURANCE – COMMON PROPERTY
- INSURANCE – BUILDING
- LOT ENTITLEMENT & LIABILITY
- OWNERS CORPORATION MEETINGS
Additional things to consider when buying off-the-plan include:
- WHAT ARE YOU BUYING?
- CONTRACT SPECIAL CONDITIONS
- LOT ENTITLEMENT & LIABILITY
- SUNSET CLAUSE
- STAMP DUTY BENEFITS
Buying Commercial and Industrial
Some of the things to consider when buying commercial and industrial include:
- ZONING & PLANNING
- BUILDING STRUCTURE
Buying Vacant Land
Additional things to consider when buying vacant land include:
- SOIL TEST
- WORK CLOSELY WITH THE COUNCIL
- BUILDING COSTS
- ZONING & PLANNING