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So you’re buying your first house, and you are wary of putting thousands, if not millions, of your dollars in someone else’s hands when you’re unsure of the outcome. We’ve put together a guide of what to look out for and what to keep in mind, regardless of whether you’re buying in Yarrabend or Sunshine.

Cheap Almost Never Means Good

If you’re looking for a good house, expect to pay a fair bit. If you’re looking for a good area, expect to pay a bit. If you’re looking for a good house in a good area, expect to pay a lot. A house in a good area that seems good and is suspiciously cheap might seem too good to be true, and unfortunately it probably is. No matter how ludicrously wealthy a person is, it is highly unlikely they will ever sell a house for one cent less than it’s worth.

Advertising Means Nothing (And Everything)

Always keep in mind that if you’re looking at the advertising for a house, you are not looking at the house itself. Advertising is designed to sell, not to sell truthfully. Request an inspection, and see with your own eyes. Camera angles, lighting effects and photoshop can add thousands of dollars to a price tag. Alternatively, you can usually tell what’s wrong with a place by looking at what the ads are avoiding mentioning – if a house isn’t talked about at all in the sale, and it’s advertised as “land”, then the house is likely not salvageable.

Buy As If You’re Going To Live There, Even If You Aren’t

If you’re buying an investment property, it’s important to remember the people that will be renting from you when buying. If you wouldn’t want to live in that neighborhood, or in that house, likely your tenants won’t be thrilled about it either. To make a house appealing, buy a place you would love to live in, and there will likely be a renter who agrees with you.

Plan For The Future

If you’re buying a place to live, keep your future in mind. What’s the proximity to your work? Are you thinking of family matters in future? Is it near a school, transport, a hospital, and/or entertainment? These are all things that will become more and more obvious as you live there for longer and longer, and you don’t want to have to drive 30 mins to the nearest cinema on a Friday night.

Don’t Settle For Less On Anything Important

Think about it. You’ll be living in this house for years, and unless it’s got all the important criteria you set out when you started looking for a house, you’re going to notice what you settled on over and over again for years to come. If at all possible, don’t settle on anything important, and the little things will disappear eventually.

Don’t Rush A Purchase

The seller might want a quick sale, and maybe someone else will get that house you wanted, but a worse scenario is the one in which you rush into buying a house without carefully considering your options first, and end up with an inordinate amount of money invested in a house you don’t like. Take your time and think things through, and your future self with thank you for your consideration.

Get It Assessed

No matter what the agent or the current owner says, get the house assessed BEFORE you buy it by a builder and a plumber and an electrician. You want to know how structurally sound, electrically wired and plumbed in your house is before you commit to buy, and if there are problems with the house, you need to know about them going in rather than finding out about them later down the road.

With this article, you should be able to keep an eye out for these pitfalls of modern house purchasing, and maybe find your way to your dream home.