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Five steps to buying Property interstate

February 24, 2012

Property AdviceFive simple steps to follow while purchasing a property that can really help save your money. As many people are considering buying interstate, especially in the resource-rich states, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some more detail on this five-step process.

Step 1 – Do your own research

Far too often, property investors rely on what the selling agent says about a property and/or area. They may tell us about positive aspects about a property but not mention the negative points. We must remember that selling agents work for the seller, not the buyer. That’s why you must do your own research and due diligence. Other than surfing the internet for relevant information, this can be done in a number of ways, including reading:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Local newspaper
  • Property reports

Whenever reading this material or information on web pages, check to find out who the author is and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do they have a vested interest in ‘talking up’ an area?
  • Are they qualified to write about a property? I would regard a valuer as qualified to discuss property matters, but not necessarily a travel journalist.

 Step 2 – Visit the area

I’ve found that some of my best research on top suburbs is done ‘on location’. I may do extensive research on the internet and read newspapers and reports but in my opinion there’s nothing like seeing an area/property with my own eyes to form a complete picture about a suburb/district.

Whilst you’re in the area, I’d suggest you:

Drive around the area and check out the streetscape, housing and the type of people living in the area. The condition of shopping centres, roads and even the cars the locals drive can give you an excellent insight into the area.

  • Speak to some of the locals, especially a selection of shopkeepers, as they may have been in the area for a long period of time. Ask about the area; is it a nice place to live, what makes it a nice place to live, is the area getting better/worse?
  • A trip to the local council is also worthwhile. Ask to speak to a town planner, preferably the chief town planner. Find out what plans the council has for the area(s) you wish to buy in.
  • Finally, speak with a few local real estate agents, including buyers agents. By talking to more than one agent you should get a number of different views on particular locations.

Step 3 – Seek quality advice

Whether you’re buying interstate or not, you should always speak with a conveyancer. If buying interstate, I’d suggest you seek a conveyancer that has offices in the area you wish to purchase in. They should know about the state specific rules on purchasing property – for example, Conveyancing Solutions – but hopefully they should also have some knowledge of the property and/or area you’re buying in.

If you’re unsure about the property/area/buying process, I’d suggest you speak to a qualified property investment advisor. You may have to pay for this but at least you know that they’re working for you and providing advice that will benefit you. The term ‘qualified’ means they have some sort of qualification in property and/or property investment. Beware advisors who try and sell you property, especially brand new house-and-land packages or off-the-plan apartments.

Step 4 – If you feel confident, buy it yourself

After all the research and due diligence completed in the first three steps, you may feel confident enough to buy the property without any further assistance. However, I’d encourage you to use the services of a local conveyancer so as to ensure all the paperwork and legals are taken care of.

Step 5 – If you don’t feel confident, use a buyers agent

Some property investors may prefer to use the services of a reputable buyers agent. This may be because they’d like a professional to select the right property and negotiate on their behalf, or they just don’t have the time to do it themselves.

Whether you’re buying property near home or interstate, ensure you do your due diligence as even though there can be great rewards in buying property, it comes with risks. Due diligence and research minimises your risks and maximises your returns.

(Source: Property Professor)
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