Buying Tips

Buying Tips

Here are 5 tips you can utilise when buying a property with Peter Milling and Company.

1. Get good legal advice

The importance of getting solid legal advice when buying property cannot be overstated. A good conveyancer or solicitor can alert you to serious problems with the property that could cause the sale to fall through, including:

  • Illegal building additions or renovations which could be removed by council or costly to update
  • Complications with the existing title deeds and legal ownership of the property
  • Potential issues with strata management clauses and fees
  • State authority rights to the property pertaining to zoning and/or future developments to the area that could seriously affect the property’s value.

Your legal representative will also review the contract of sale and mortgage agreement to ensure these legally binding documents protect your interests.

2. Make your property inspections count

If you are serious about a property for sale, you will need to organise a professional building inspection to check for structural defects, pest infestations, damp, asbestos and issues with the plumbing or wiring. But before you get to this stage, you will undertake your own property inspection. And while your emotional response to the home is important, you need to think carefully about its potential problems. Things to look for include:

  • Search high and low for damp and mould. Look out for fresh patches of paint that could be hiding the problem and check skirting boards and ceilings.
  • Look for structural issues like sagging ceilings, uneven door or window frames and buckling in walls.
  • Test all the taps and see how long it takes for the hot water to come through, and check out the hot water heater.
  • Ask yourself: is this an energy efficient home? We all know how costly bills can be.
  • Don’t underestimate council rates and strata fees. Find out what these are before you proceed.

3. Learn from the mortgage market

Knowing your borrowing power is essential before making a bid or offer on a property. By talking to different lenders, reviewing interest rates and investigating potential product add-ons (such as redraw facilities, offset accounts and repayment holidays) you can determine how much you can realistically borrow. Always consider your ongoing homeowner costs and ability to manage mortgage repayments in the future. Obtaining loan pre-approval will keep you ahead of the buying pack.

4. Get an accurate valuation

Sales have been known to fall through due to an inaccurate property valuation. This becomes a particularly precarious situation if you have committed to a purchase at auction, or signed an unconditional contract, and your chosen lender values the property at a lower price than what you paid. It could mean having to borrow more than you budgeted for. Always use an accredited valuer if sourcing your own valuation.

5. Consider a buyer agent

Buying real estate can be a game of negotiation and bravado. If you’re not comfortable making sale offers, bidding at auction or negotiating settlement terms, it could be a good idea to hire a buyer agent. Along with finding property, buyer agents are experts at evaluating properties for sale and negotiating purchase terms. An alternative is to use a trusted friend or family member.


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