3 ways to try your first home before you buy
Wouldn’t it be nice if before you purchase your real estate in Australia, you could try it out for a month or so to determine whether it really is the right property for you?
Unfortunately, this is unlikely to ever happen – certainly not while the sea is blue(ish), the sun is white(ish) and the common dream of owning your own home continues to exist among the Australian population. This isn’t to mention the undying thirst for larger portfolios from investors!
In fact, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the monthly value of financial commitments to homes for sale by investors has more than doubled in the four years to July 2015.
Despite this, there’s always a way around things. Here are a few ways you can sneakily take your potential first home for a test drive.
1. Recon the area
If you’ve managed to find a home that you think could be the one, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission recommends doing some reconnaissance work before the open home. Take a drive around the area and determine what the pedestrian traffic is like. Are you looking at mainly students, professionals or families?
If you want to go the extra mile, you could experiment driving to your work and essential amenities from the property’s location to see how long it takes.
2. Do the window test
You’re walking through the property for sale, and the home is ticking all the boxes. What’s next?
Go to the master bedroom and open all the windows before sitting back on the bed. What’s the noise like? Ideally, you won’t be able to hear traffic, neighbourly disputes or even worse, neighbours making up.
You should then close the windows and check for any potential draughts that could be coming in. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) found that air leakage makes up for about 15-25 per cent of winter heat loss in the home, not to mention causing your air conditioner to work a lot harder in the warmer months.
3. How does the water go?
Did you know that according to the DIIS, Australians are the greatest per capita users of fresh water in the world? All the more reason to ensure the plumbing is up to scratch.
Don’t be shy, take the shower for a spin (in addition to any other tap fittings in the home). A dribble can often mean there is a leak somewhere down the line, which can really throw a spanner in the works if left untreated.
Lastly, how long does it take to heat up? In terms of property for sale, you want a home with an effective water-heating system, as no one likes a cold shower.