Purchasing property is often the most significant purchases you will ever make. It’s a complex process requiring many decisions. However, there is no need to panic! MCG Legal help property buyers and sellers on the Gold Coast and throughout Queensland with this process all the time. The following are some helpful simple tips to keep in mind when you are engaging a property solicitor to make buying or selling your home easier.
Tip 1 – You are your own landlord
Purchasing a property is not as simple as taking out a mortgage and picking up the keys. You are responsible for checking everything is in order which is why getting an experienced conveyancing lawyer is important. Firstly, you need to get a building inspection to ensure that there are no nasty surprises which you were unable to identify when you inspected the property. A building inspection will identify structural issues, like the presence of mould and leaks; plumbing and electrical defences and compromises to the dwelling (such as large tree roots). Secondly, you need to organise a pest inspection. A pest inspection will provide you with information in relation to past and present infestations of wood-destroying insects, such as borers or termites.
Tip 2 – There are hidden costs
Exercise financial discipline and don’t over-extend yourself.
The perfect home won’t be a consolation if you can’t afford to furnish it – or, worse still, can’t cover your mortgage payments and living costs because you got carried away. Before you take the leap, you must also consider the following costs:
- Mortgage arrangement fees
- Valuation fees
- Legal fees
- Stamp duty (if you are purchasing a first home or principal place of residence, transfer concessions may apply)
- Removalists costs
- Repair work which may be required.
Tip 3 – Check the terms of your contract are correct
The price tag on the property is just the beginning. Before signing your offer to purchase the property, check that all of the terms you have requested are included and review any special conditions inserted by the Seller. Your lawyer will help with this but it’s important you are on top of it as well. Items to look out for include:
- Conditions of sale (financing and building & pest inspection information)
- The purchase price and deposit amounts (ensure you note when payments are due)
- The settlement date
- Whether the property is subject to a tenant or that you will receive vacant possession at settlement
- Whether there are any included personal items or excluded fixtures.
Tip 4 – You should arrange for pre-finance approval
Very few lenders will offer a mortgage if there is no property but most will provide you with pre-finance approval to give you an indication of how much money you will be able to borrow, and how much interest will be payable. Pre-finance approval does not mean that you will ultimately be granted finance approval for the property you intend to purchase, for this reason, insertion of a ‘subject to finance’ condition is important and should be discussed with your agent or solicitor prior to signing your offer to purchase.
Tip 5 – You shouldn’t go it alone
During the purchase process, speak to your solicitor regularly. By keeping your solicitor updated during a property purchase, ensures the property will be transferred efficiently and all relevant paperwork will be in order. More than that though, find good real estate agent, building inspector, mortgage broker etc. Even a trusted open-for-inspection buddy. Even if you’re buying on your own, you shouldn’t face the process alone. There are specialists whose job it is to cover those areas you didn’t even know you didn’t know. Surround yourself with a good team of people you trust and everything about the process will become easier. You should use MCG Legal for all of your conveyancing needs.
If you have any questions in relation to the process of purchasing or selling property on the Gold Coast, please contact MCG Legal’s conveyancing team for more information or call us on (07) 5591 2222.