BUYING TIPS + CHECKLIST

Some handy hints to help you when buying a home.

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Have your finances in order early

If you need finance to fund your purchase, meet with your chosen lender or mortgage broker early on in your search in order to get loan pre-approval and ascertain how much money you can borrow. This way you will be ready to act as soon as you see something you’re keen to buy, with your lender quickly able to give you final loan approval for your purchase if you meet all of the necessary criteria.

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Engage a settlement agent

To undertake the settlement for your purchase you will need to engage a settlement agent or a registered conveyancer. Settlement agents are often recommended when contracts are not straightforward. However, as settlement agents they are experienced & specialise in conveyancing work, so they are ideal in most circumstances.

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Check the title of your chosen property

Freestanding houses generally have what is commonly known in Western Australia as Green Title, however other titles exist for different property types and come with their own legalities. A Survey-strata plan defines the lots in a survey-strata scheme, which are the areas in the scheme owned individually. No approval is required of other owners in the scheme for capital improvements. Common property areas owned jointly by all lot owners may, or may not exist in survey-strata schemes and are defined as 'common property lots'. Many apartments, townhouses and villas are also Strata Titled, which is a system for handling the legal ownership of a portion of a building and will incur quarterly strata fees. Less frequently you will come across a Company Titled apartment, known as Purple Title, a system that effectively means you purchase shares in a building rather than a designated space. Restricted Company Title means that you may not be able to lease out the property.

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Carry out the necessary inspections.

The building and pest inspection process is an important part of the legal checklist for buying property. This inspection involves ensuring the electrics and plumbing have been installed to meet requirements, that any renovations have been approved by council, that the boundaries are in the correct position and that any pest issues are identified. We can put you in touch with reputable building and pest inspectors.

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Have your deposit ready.

When buying at auction you will need to pay a significant deposit (usually $50,000) on the day to secure your purchase. This can be done in the form of a cash transfer, bank cheque or a money order, which is effectively a guarantee for the bond which your lender can arrange for you. If you are buying a property via private treaty, you will need to pay the deposit upon exchange of contracts. Make sure you have the deposit organised several days in advance if possible to avoid any complications.