buying a house

3 Things You Should Do Before Buying a Property

Buying a property is a big decision and there are many reasons to think about it carefully before finalising your decision. Real estate is not always a steady market and it takes a keen eye and a clear mind to distinguish good investments from bad ones.

So, whether it is a house and land around Tarneit or a condominium unit in Gold Coast, you must have a checklist of reasons and things to look for before closing the deal and settling into your new property. If you are a little lost as to what to add to that list, here are some suggestions you can consider:

Grab the nearest map

This may sound obvious, but the land around your prospective property is one of the first things you should check. It could mean the difference between a good estate purchase and a literal sinkhole for your finances. The top things to check include:

  • If the area is prone to flooding
  • Weather patterns and climate
  • Proximity to undesirable sites (factories, dumpsites, and the like)
  • Area topography (cliffs, small patches of forest, rivers, etc.)

One of the key things to remember is that the area around the property is as much of a feature as the property itself. So, keep an eye out, grab a map, take a walk in the area and ask the locals for more information.

Call the local planning and zoning department

home forms

All land falls under certain classification for a city’s local planning and zoning department: residential, industrial, agricultural, mixed-use, and so on. Before talking to a broker or a property agent, a couple of calls to the various departments in the community can be a goldmine of information as to why (or why you should not) buy the property.

This is especially important if you happen to be buying vacant land. Some neighbourhoods may require you to go through extra steps, such as zoning restrictions, to define and manage whatever property you want to build on the site, especially if it is close to a residential area.

Run a percolation test

If you are planning to build anything on vacant land, ask the seller if they have run a percolation test on the soil. This test measures how fast the water drains through the soil, which is an important feature for any building to avoid on-site flooding. Calling the local zoning and planning department can help you with this issue.

Unless your property has a connection to all the usual utilities a building needs, especially a sewer system, you will need to add the cost of building a septic system to your expenses or ask the local sewage treatment plant to open a line to your site. If you do not do either of those things, you might need to deal with excess water when it rains. Building anything on the site will be difficult as well.

While we certainly hope there are more than those three items on your building checklist, if you still need a little help, having an honest and thorough conversation with your realty company should help erase most of your worries. Think of it this way: If you are spending that much for a property, might as well get your money’s worth.