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4 Must-Dos For Buyers At Open Homes

By Laura Anderson

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of attending an open home. You’ll probably imagine yourself living happily in the property as you stroll through the hallways and look in at freshly painted, sun-drenched rooms.

But it’s important that you keep your head at this time and approach the open home logically. That way you can be 100 per cent sure that you’re buying a warm and safe home for you and your family – not a leaky lemon that’ll cost you thousands!

DO YOUR RESEARCH

When you purchase a property, you’re not just buying the section and the house, you’re buying into the neighbourhood and the area.

So, it’s just as important to thoroughly research the area your home is in, looking at recent sales, median values, capital value trends, and any future developments planned.

Being aware of recent sales in the area will help give you an idea of what the property you’re looking at may be worth. Capital value trends and future developments on the other hand can help predict if the suburb (and therefore your property) has a bright future or not.

KNOW THE NEIGHBOURHOOD 

That’s why you need to have a close look at the surrounding neighbourhood and do your best to notice features that may make it less desirable. A property could be utterly perfect during the open home and then reveal its true colours as soon as you move in.

You need to have a close look at the surrounding neighbourhood.

These could include the home’s proximity to a busy road, train station or bar – all of which could prove noisy and dangerous, particularly if you have kids running around.

If you’re unsure, check the neighbourhoods’ crime statistics on government websites, as a high crime rate could make a location unsafe as well as making it harder to resell the property later on.

NOTICE THE DEAL-BREAKERS

When you look through a home there are a number of deal-breakers that should be black marks against a property’s name as soon as they’re noticed. Here’s a handy summary of what these might be and how to check for them:

  • Look out for sagging walls or ceilings.
  • Watch for mould on ceilings, skirting boards and walls.
  • Flush toilets and run sink to check they’re working.
  • Inspect hot water system and fuse box for age and condition.
  • Check the general state of the home’s exterior: Are there any cracks or obvious faults?
  • Are the floors or walls sloping slightly? This may indicate the foundations need expensive work.
  • Does paint bubble or peel? This may indicate termite infestation.

If you notice any of these signs in your prospective home either reconsider, or ensure that you get a building inspector to check faults before purchasing.

ASK QUESTIONS

If you’ve got any questions after your inspection, feel free to ask the agent present at the open home. These could include questions about any faults with the home, what the asking price is, if the agent has relevant information or reports on the property and what similiar homes in the area have sold for.

Ask the right questions and notice the right things and you’ll be living it up in your brand new home in no time.

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