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You've done your homework, you’ve saved and saved, now comes the exciting part ... searching for your first home!
Inspect the roof and its insulation, see whether neighbouring properties are in good condition, check for damp patches and cracks inside - particularly if you found problems outside.
Is the location close to transport, medical facilities, schools, shops and restaurants?
Is the suburb you are looking to buy in growing in value or are adjoining suburbs experiencing rising value?
Check with the local council to see if any developments are planned for the area. These could have a significant impact on the value of your home.
Consider the noise generated by nearby commercial operations, schools, busy roads, railway lines or flight paths.
Does the home have off street parking? This could be crucial in an inner city area.
Coastal, river or bushland views are attractive. Distinctive features, from a period fireplace to a landscaped garden create scarcity and add value. However, it’s also important to consider the insurance implications of unique features.
Even the perfect home can be compromised by a block of units overlooking the backyard. Be sure to consider how the surroundings will impact on your personal privacy.
Make a features list
Draw up a list of features that you would like your first home to have ... balcony, air conditioning, built-in-robes, car park, view and so on. Take it with you to home inspections to note the features each property offers. Use this as a scorecard to compare between homes.