Essentials of house hunting

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Its Friday afternoon and for many looking for that dream home, tomorrow will mean getting up early, having a look in the paper and heading out the door to inspect open homes. For those of you that are organised, you might already have a plan and have gotten today’s paper which lists all of the open for inspections with times and addresses.

First Home buyers

Buying a house is a very emotional time, so taking the emotion out of it, these are my top 10 things to consider when inspecting a house:

1. Work out the maximum amount you are able to spend. This will be determined by your income and the size of your deposit.

2. Identify the attributes that you want in a property including type unit, house, townhouse and the features ie: bedrooms, bathrooms, parking etc and then decide on what you are not prepared to compromise on.

3. Location, location and location: Whilst you can check out the location at the time of inspection, you should also visit at other times of the day and night. A nice quiet location at 3pm on a Saturday can be totally different at 9.30am on a Monday. Have a look at an old Gregory’s directory if you can find one (if you don’t know what they are ask your parents). These sometimes map the major thoroughfares in yellow. If you are buying on a major thoroughfare or just the route that people “rat run”, you want to know about it in advance.

4. At the inspection don’t just look. Open and close – windows and doors. Turn on and off – taps and lights. This will identify minor (or major) repairs that may be required.

5. Find out what direction north is and see where the living space is in relation to the north. North facing will mean plenty of light, and generally will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

6. Engage the agent. Ask the agent lots of questions. Try to find out why the vendor is selling. What other property has sold recently and for how much. Get the dimensions of the house, how big is the block of land, how big is the house.

7. Watch what is happening at the open for inspection. Arrive a bit before it starts and stay until the agent drives away if you can. Watch others. How many people were at the open house, how long did they stay – this will give you an indication of how much competition there is in the market place

8. Keep notes. Draw a quick map of the property, glue in the open home flyer, and write your own opinion of the house. If you are searching for a property for a few months this will help you to determine what it is that you are really after and how much you should be paying.

9. The internet is full of information. Use it to your advantage.

10. Remember that the agent is working for the vendor and their job is to obtain the best price for the property

If you are house hunting this weekend, I hope you find what you are looking for, at the price you are willing to pay.

Love to hear what sort of things you look for when inspecting a property. If you have great tips leave me a comment and I will share them others.

I’m Margaret Godfrey your personal mortgage broker in Newcastle and the Hunter. If you would like assistance to work out your borrowing capacity please feel free to give me a call on 02 4956 44 62 or email me at

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