Buying property, for many of us, is the biggest financial decision we will make  – one influenced by both emotional and rational factors.

Here is a simple checklist of recommended steps to take before making an offer or bidding at auction.

  1. Obtain finance pre-approval (read more below)
  2. Research the area (we can help with this too, see below)
  3. Find out why the property is on the market
  4. Check out the neighbours
  5. Visit the property at different times
  6. Get a property lawyer or conveyancer to review the contract and provide legal advice
  7. Get a building inspection and strata report (if applicable)
  8. Check the zoning with the Council
  9. Check for proposed arterial roads
  10. Check for environmental hazards in the surrounding area.

First Step, Finance

If you’re thinking of buying, I would strongly encourage you to secure pre-approval for finance. Knowing how much you can borrow will help you focus in on the suburbs and properties that are within your price range.

I often encounter clients who assumed they could borrow a certain amount and come to me in a rush for finance once they have fallen in love with a property. When we make the application for finance they are dreadfully disappointed to  realise that they have been looking beyond their budget. Lenders are assessing home loan affordability on a much higher interest rate than we currently have, which is catching some prospective borrowers by surprise.

It is also worth noting that pre-approvals take time. In most cases, my clients take a few weeks to gradually gather all the information required for the application, then it takes another week for the application to be assessed. Your mortgage broker will be able to make this process as easy as possible. However, there will still be a requirement for you to source documents such as bank statements, payment records and tax returns. In my experience, it is best to tackle this before you find yourself in an excited rush to bid on a house.

Suburb Insights

I can also assist clients looking for suburb information. Click here to view the RP Data report for our local suburb Mosman. If you’re interested in the overview of your suburb, please contact me.

To discuss the finance pre-approval requirements or process in more detail, or to access suburb reports for your area, please contact me for a chat on (02) 9908 9888.

Patricia Williams is a credited representative (CRN 400458) of BLSSA Pty Ltd (Australian Credit License No. 391237).