15 Questions to Ask When Purchasing a House

When purchasing a house in Canberra, asking the right questions is crucial as it’s a substantial investment.

Start with your budget, especially if you’re purchasing your first home in Canberra. Beyond that, various questions related to the buying process, property assessment, and closing the deal will help you secure the best possible results.

Here’s what YOU ask:


purchasing a house in Canberra requires asking the right questions and making an informed decision. Below are essential queries to consider:


Questions About the Property:

  1. What is the current condition of the roof, plumbing, and electrical systems?
  2. Has there been any significant repairs or renovation work performed on the property?
  3. Are there any known issues with the foundation or overall structure of the house?
  4. Which appliances and fixtures are included in the sale?
  5. Is there any evidence of pests or mould within the property?
  6. Is the house situated in a flood-prone or high-risk area?

Questions About the Neighbourhood:

  1. What is the neighbourhood’s crime rate?
  2. How close is the location to schools, shopping centres, and amenities?
  3. What’s the noise level in the neighbourhood?
  4. Are there nearby parks or recreational areas?
  5. What is the demographic makeup of the community?

Questions About the Local Real Estate Market:

  1. What is the current state of the local real estate market?
  2. How long has the property been listed on the market?
  3. What’s the average price for a similar property in the area?
  4. What are the property taxes and ongoing costs associated with ownership?
  5. What is the potential for future growth and appreciation in the neighbourhood?

By asking these essential questions, prospective buyers can gain a better understanding of the property and make a well-informed decision regarding making a purchase.


What to look for when Inspecting the Property


When buying a house, it’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the property to ensure it aligns with your needs and expectations.

Below are some key aspects to consider:

Property Inspection:

  • Before finalising a purchase, a pre-exchange inspection is essential. This step uncovers potential issues not immediately evident during previous visits, providing insights into necessary repairs or future upgrades.
  • During a pre-exchange inspection, major systems such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC are assessed, along with the roof, foundation, and structural elements.
  • Hiring a professional to assist you in this process will result in the inspector furnishing a detailed report of their findings, aiding your decision-making process regarding the purchase.

Renovation Requirements:

  • Evaluating potential renovation requirements is crucial. Renovations can be costly and time-intensive, so their consideration is integral to your decision-making.
  • Consider the age and condition of major systems like the roof, HVAC, and plumbing, as older or deteriorating systems may necessitate replacement or repairs.
  • Assess the property’s layout and functionality. Identify any rooms that may be too small or excessively large for your needs, or if structural changes are required to suit your preferences.

What’s Included in the Sale:

  • Clarifying what items are part of the sale is important. Some properties may include appliances, fixtures, or other items not typically included in a sale.
  • Ensure to communicate with your agent/the seller about the items included in the sale and have this documented in writing and added to the contract of sale, to prevent misunderstandings.

Property Value:

  • Evaluating the property’s value is a crucial component of the buying process. Examine recent sales of similar properties in the area, considering factors like location, block size (if applicable), home size, and condition.
  • You may also consider obtaining an appraisal or utilising online tools to estimate the property’s value. This aids in determining the reasonableness of the asking price and whether the deal is favourable.


Understanding the Buying Process


When purchasing a house in Canberra, it is essential to understand the buying process, the role of a real estate agent, the decision-making process regarding house or apartment selection, and key aspects of buying and selling property.


Role of a Real Estate Agent:

  • A real estate agent plays a pivotal role in assisting homebuyers to locate the right property and expertly navigate the buying process. They offer invaluable insights into available properties, neighbourhood nuances, and market trends.
  • Knowing how to interact with a real estate agent is vital to ward off common agent tactics and safeguard your interests. Equally significant is understanding what not to disclose, ensuring a balanced and advantageous partnership.

House vs. Apartment

  • The initial decision for a prospective buyer revolves around choosing between a house, townhouse, or an apartment. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
  • A house offers greater space and privacy, while a townhouse or apartment generally boasts affordability and ease of maintenance. The ultimate choice depends on the buyer’s lifestyle, requirements, and financial constraints.

Is it Better to Buy or Sell?

  • In the process of purchasing a house in Canberra, a comprehensive understanding of the buying process is imperative. This is extensively covered in our house buying checklist, emphasising thorough property research, and securing pre-approval for a mortgage.
  • Buyers should also prioritise a meticulous home inspection to ensure the property’s condition aligns with expectations.
  • On the other side, when selling a property, sellers should consider staging to enhance its appeal. Collaborating with a real estate agent is pivotal for setting a competitive price and executing an effective marketing strategy.


Financial Considerations in Home Buying


Purchasing a house in Canberra, financial considerations are the most important factor, as it is essential to have a clear grasp of the costs involved and the various financing options available.


Understanding Home Loans:

  • Home loans are your gateway to property ownership, but comprehending their types and intricacies is pivotal. Different options include fixed-rate loans, providing stability in interest rates; variable-rate loans, where rates fluctuate; and interest-only loans, allowing interest-only payments for a specified period before principal repayment.
  • When seeking a home loan, meticulous lender comparison is essential. Assess interest rates, fees, charges, terms, repayment choices, and required deposits.

Beyond the Loan:

  • A house purchase involves costs beyond the home loan, such as council rates, stamp duty, legal fees, and building and pest inspections.
  • Council rates are local government taxes linked to property value, an important budgetary consideration.
  • Stamp duty, a state government tax, varies based on the property’s value and location.
  • Legal fees cover legal advice, conveyancing, and other legal requirements in the property transaction.
  • Building and pest inspections are indispensable for property structural integrity and pest issues, though they may add to the overall cost.

Delving into Property Investment:

  • Considering a property as an investment warrants a careful examination of its pros and cons.
  • Pros include the potential for capital growth, rental income, and tax benefits – but be mindful of potential downsides like vacancy periods, ongoing maintenance expenses, and the ever-changing property value landscape.



Frequently Asked Questions:

You’re starting a new chapter in your life so it’s natural to have questions. Here are some frequently asked questions:

Are There Property Zoning Restrictions?

  • Knowing the zoning restrictions of a property is crucial as it can affect how the property can be used and developed. It’s recommended to inquire with the seller or your real estate agent about the property’s zoning restrictions and to verify with the local council for any potential changes.

How’s The Roof and Foundation?

  • It’s important to ask the seller or real estate agent about the age and condition of these critical elements. We recommend considering hiring a professional inspector for a thorough assessment if you have concerns not addressed in a building report.

What is the History of the Property’s Ownership?

  • Understanding the property’s ownership history can yield valuable insights, such as the duration it has been on the market and any issues with previous owners. It’s advisable to question the seller or real estate agent about the property’s ownership history and check public records for potential red flags.

What are the Local Property Taxes?

  • Understanding local property taxes is vital, as they can significantly affect a property’s affordability. Ask the seller or real estate agent about local property tax rates and keep tabs on potential changes through the local council.

What’s the Neighbourhood Crime Rate?

  • Awareness of the area’s crime rate is essential, affecting both safety and property value. Consult the seller or real estate agent regarding the area’s crime rate and contact local law enforcement for insights into safety concerns.

These questions can empower you to make an informed decision when purchasing a property, providing clarity on key aspects of your investment. Contact the team at Jonny Warren Properties today if you have any further questions or want to start the next chapter of your story today!

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