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Here are our top three legal tips when inspecting a property you are considering buying.

Top three tips when inspecting a property

Thoroughly inspecting a property, before you buy it, is extremely important. Here's how to get the most out of your inspection.

Your pre-purchase inspection of the property is your opportunity to know exactly what you are buying.

Buyer beware!

The buyer beware principle applies = you buy the property as is. The vendor doesn't have to sell you a perfect property - things can be broken, scratched, stained, mouldy, leaking, smelling and missing. That's why it's so important to turn on all gas and electrical items during open for inspections (including air-conditioners, heaters, rangehood buttons, door bells and garage doors), and in older properties, it is prudent to turn on a hot water tap and flush the toilet, to clarify the condition of the plumbing and the hot water unit. You are entitled to inspect every cupboard, open every blind/curtain and look inside sheds, garages, and in under and above house storage - indeed, the contract says you were given a reasonable opportunity to thoroughly inspect the property before you signed the contract. Don't be distracted by stylish display furniture and chatty real estate agents: ensure you check around and under the furniture, especially rugs!

Inspect the neighbourhood too

Are you familiar with the street and surrounding neighbourhood, including the street at the back of the property? What is the traffic like during peak hours? What is the noise from neighbours like in the evenings? Is it well lit at night time - would you feel safe walking home from nearby public transport/shops? Is there any on-street parking available when everyone is home at dinner time? Are there commercial and industrial properties nearby that may have an impact, including smell emissions and employees / commuter parking? Visiting the property at different times of the day, and throughout a week, can give you a totally different perspective about what it's like to live in the area - and it costs you nothing but your time.

Consider a professional building + pest inspection

You only know what you can see with your own eyes. A professional building and pest inspection will advise you if there are any hidden water leaks, mould and rising damp issues, pest attacks, illegal building work and major structural concerns. You could save yourself from buying a lemon, or at very least you'll have a thorough understanding of the condition of the property and the timeframe and budget for major capital works required in the future. And if you haven't signed a contract yet, you can cleverly price in the cost of those future works into the price you're prepared to pay for the property.

Note: the above is general information and should not be considered as legal advice.

Photo via Pixabay

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