Buying a house is both exciting and daunting. It is usually a marker of a new beginning – expanding family, a better career or newfound freedom. For most of us, it will be our single most significant investment and a serious financial commitment. Thorough preparation is needed to avoid being blindsided by factors you might not have considered. Getting guidance from local law firms in Townsville can prepare you from any legal issues that might crop up. Buying a house, after all, deals with numerous negotiations, paperwork, and agreements. Have you considered factors in your checklist?
Fees and taxes
Home loans and the house purchase cost aren’t the only things you have to include in your budget. You must also plan for insurance, real estate taxes, stamp duty, and even homeowner association fees – dependent on the state and territory where your dream house is located. It is better to ask for a comprehensive list of fees from your local government office, realtor or Townsville law firm. You might also be eligible for a First Home Owner Grant given by the Australian government. There are price caps and restrictions on the grant amount, but the savings will surely go a long way.
Building and pest inspections
You might have inspected every room, nook and cranny of your prospective house – new cabinets for the kitchen, a brighter colour for the bedroom, and a good scrubbing for the bathroom tiles. However, what you need to be aware of is the goings-on behind the walls of the house. Is the foundation structurally sound and able to withstand floods and earthquakes? Does the house have the beginnings of an ant and termite infestation? Properties are never perfect, but by completing an inspection, you can get the full picture of what you’re dealing with or at least negotiate a reduction in the purchase price.
Fences, walls and overhanging branches
Having a tight-knit community in the neighbourhood has great value for one’s mental health and happiness. When neighbours know and take care of each other, outsiders, and bad situations are instantly reported and dealt with. Nonetheless, like with any community, disputes may arise between neighbours, particularly on boundaries such as overhanging tree branches and fence locations. The Queensland Government has a guide on how to deal with these easily missed issues during the house-buying process. But why wait when you can have concerns identified and managed early with a professional from the get-go?
Negotiating the purchase agreement
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. Buying a house entails a multitude of papers to read and sign – most of which are contracts and agreements. It is a common mistake to treat the documents given by the seller as standard with no room for negotiation. You can always question, waive or add specific clauses (e.g. making the purchase subject to loan approval). While do-it-yourself agreements are an option, overlooking small legal concerns can be stressful and can cost a lot of money in the long run. A lawyer helps explain the provided forms and make the necessary changes that have your best interests in mind.
Navigating the house-buying process can be confusing and complicated, especially for a first-time buyer. Protect your interests and avoid future headaches by getting professionals who provide end-to-end support from getting a loan, advising on contract terms, identifying risks, negotiating, and closing the deal.