HANDY HOUSE HUNTING TIPS
The time of Covid has changed the landscape of the real estate industry. We are experiencing a surge of enquiries many of whom are looking to acquire a piece of property or just about to purchase one. If you are in that category, this is the issue for you. This issue we share some tips when on the hunt for a piece of landed property.
STRATEGIZING THE HUNT – TIME VS CUSTOMISATION
When venturing into landed property, you can go in two directions of the spectrum – one, find a new development or two, a fixer-upper. A new development is a piece of property which has been recently built. Cash outlay will be higher on the onset but as it requires minimal to no additional work, you will not veer too much further from the price of the house. A fixer-upper on the other hand is an old house that typically requires major work done. The cost of the property will be much less than a newer house which in turn will be channelled towards the building costs instead. These two options will result in either minimal move-in wait time or freedom of customisation respectively. In addition, it is usually the two more cost effective approaches when house hunting.
Anything else that falls between this spectrum will usually experience a bit of wait time, chance for customisation but, sometimes higher cash outlay. In addition, it is worth noting that for homes which are more than five to ten years, special attention to electrical, plumbing and waterproofing works may be required. As such, it is almost certain that a good portion of the house will be affected as these items are embedded.
Now that you have decided on your preferred property and are about to put in your option to purchase (OTP), here are a few things to take note.
If you are planning re-building works or anything that requires changes in the structure, the interim period once the OTP is signed is a useful time to get some groundwork done. That way once the handover is complete, your submissions and permit applications will be well on its way. In order to get this going, it is essential to get access to the architectural and structural plans so that your preferred builder and/or QP can begin the process. If the current owner doesn’t have a set, you will need their permission to extract them from the BCA database. It is useful to work with your real estate agent to seek permission from the current owner.
In addition, if works are to be done, your builder will most likely require a site visit. To maximise the effectiveness of this interim period, it will be helpful to come to an agreement with the current owner to secure X number of site visits to speed up the pre-con surveys that need to be executed. Going a step further, for major reconstruction and re-building works, a soil test and TOPO survey are required which can be carried out during this period as well.
We hope these insights will come in handy to you as you embark on an effective house hunt.