Don’t buy a property lemon!

It’s a common fear in almost everyone going through the process of buying property; the nagging question of ‘what if I’m buying a dud, here?!’

The fear of ending up with a sub-standard quality home is fuelled in part by a barrage of negative media about the construction industry, particularly in the new-build space. Horror stories of properties left unfinished, drainage issues, doors that won’t close and badly installed heating systems come to mind and, understandably, cause concern among potential buyers.

So, what can you do to ensure you don’t wind up with a lemon of a property that’s more money pit than dream home? We’re glad you asked!

The first thing to note is that most properties, existing or newly built, will require maintenance. Ensuring that you’re well informed and well researched about your potential new property is more an exercise in risk mitigation than it is a passport to a completely hassle-free experience of home ownership. We’re not necessarily looking for the perfect property; but we’re certainly looking for one that’s free of critical defects.

Here are our tips for avoiding the proverbial lemon:

Due diligence

Buying the right product is usually not a result of fluke or fortune; it’s a case of getting the right people involved at the right time in the process. If you’re purchasing a new build, doing your due diligence on the builder is an absolute non-negotiable. What do you know about their previous work? Have they built similar houses before? What was the outcome?

Don’t just take a builder’s word for it though; make use of industry bodies such as Housing Industry Association and Master Builders Australia, who exist to ensure quality and compliance among builders. In this scenario, knowledge is power; so do your research, understand what is expected of tradespeople and builders and be prepared to hold them to account.

Work with professionals

When you’re in the process of trying to understand whether a property is hiding any nasty surprises, there’s a lot to think about. From the structure of the building, electrical and roofing to plumbing, potential water damage, pests and checking appropriate permits for any renovated elements of the property, there’s a lot to be across to make sure you don’t end up with a lemon.

Using property inspection professionals to do physical inspections, particularly if there’s an area of particular concern, is a great way to alleviate some of the stress that comes with trying to consider everything. At a minimum, we recommend you engage property inspection specialists to review the property from a building and pest control perspective.

Get involved in the process

As we said before (and sure, it’s a bit of a favourite saying of ours here at the Collective), knowledge is power and it’s really important that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a closer look for yourself at your potential new home. While working with professionals is, in our book, a must, we also don’t underestimate the value of potential buyers also running their eyes over the property. The more pairs of eyes, the better.

There’s plenty to look out for, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, contact us to understand more about what you need to be watchful for.

Think with your head, not your heart

We say it plenty in the real estate game, and accept that it’s far easier said than done, but it’s crucial that we don’t allow our hearts to rule our heads when it comes to purchasing property. It can be so easy to feel that immediate emotional connection with a space, to the point where you’re almost rationalising how sorting out the [insert critical defect here!] is an acceptable payoff. PSA: ‘the one’ isn’t ‘the one’ if it comes with a giant scoop of headache and heartache.

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