Buyer check­list

Ad­vice from www.con­sumer­

Real Estate Outlook - - Sections & Showhomes -

Here’s some ad­vice on what to con­sider dur­ing your ini­tial in­spec­tion of a sec­tion, and how the lo­ca­tion can af­fect build­ing costs.

In­spec­tion check­list

What to look for in your ini­tial in­spec­tion of a sec­tion:

How close are ameni­ties, such as schools, shops, hos­pi­tals and pub­lic trans­port?

Site as­pect. Is it sunny? Is it windy? Does it have a view? What about pri­vacy? You might need to visit at dif­fer­ent times of the day, and in dif­fer­ent weather con­di­tions.

Does there seem to be good drainage? Are there swampy ar­eas? Is the sec­tion prone to flood­ing? Con­sider also the dif­fer­ent times of year – how much sun will it get in win­ter when the sun is low? De­cide what is im­por­tant to you.

Is ac­cess dif­fi­cult? Con­sider it as a build­ing site. This could have a big im­pact on build­ing costs as well as con­ve­nience when you move in. Is there room for garag­ing or off-road park­ing? Find out what ser­vices, such as wa­ter, sew­er­age, power, phone, gas are con­nected to the site. Your lo­cal coun­cil can tell you what ser­vices are avail­able from the road, but you’ll have to check the sub­di­vi­sion plan for ser­vices on to the sec­tion. You may have to pay to bring ser­vices on site. Find out if you will be on pub­lic sew­er­age or a sep­tic tank. Check with the neigh­bours whether there is good television and mo­bile phone re­cep­tion.

What are the neigh­bours like? Are their prop­er­ties well-kept? Are there over­hang­ing trees that could cause a nui­sance? Could there be a noise prob­lem from them or their pets?

The lo­ca­tion will af­fect the price you pay but if a sec­tion seems too cheap there’s prob­a­bly a good rea­son. Ask a val­uer or real es­tate agent for a com­par­i­son with other sales in the area and, if it still seems cheap, do some fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Drive around the neigh­bour­hood at dif­fer­ent times of the night and day, and in the week­end. Watch for traf­fic and noise from com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties like sports. Get a feel for the area. If you are look­ing in a rural area con­sider smells, and noise from an­i­mals or har­vest­ing that goes on around the clock.

Is there any va­cant land nearby? Find out whether the coun­cil has any plans for it. Re­search the zon­ing clas­si­fi­ca­tion and what can and can’t be built un­der the dis­trict plan. Are there any pub­lic util­ity ease­ments or spe­cial covenants on the land?

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