Australia’s leading buyer’s agents reveal the key property faults buyers should never compromise on in their scramble to get a foot on the property ladder.
Rich Harvey, Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia
If you never compromise on your ‘must haves’, you could end up being left behind when the market surges.
“Location is one feature that can never be changed so if the property is situated on a flight path, flood affected or near an emergency services depot with sirens at all hours, the pool of potential tenants and future buyers is limited,” Mr Harvey says.
Buyers should bear in mind that a property that is difficult to sell in a seller’s market will be even more difficult to sell in a buyer’s market.
Henny Stier, OH Property Group
Be prepared to compromise on aspect, but never on light.
Ms Stier says many buyers are fixated on a north-to-rear aspect, but only one quarter of all properties have this feature.
“Some of the brightest homes I have been in have been south-to-rear because they are perched on top of a hill and have no other properties overshadowing it,” she says.
Buyers should not go near properties near substations and power lines, as well as those near smoke stacks and built over tunnels.
Cate Bakos, Cate Bakos Property
Avoid properties with building issues. These include subsidence, re-plumbing and asbestos.
“The cost of removing or repairing these issues can outweigh the bargain nature of the deal when the levy is struck and the invoice needs to be paid,” Ms Bakos says.
Amanda Segers, Amanda On My Side
Buying on a busy road is fine, but only if you get a bargain. And buyers need to be prepared to sell for a discount at the other end.
“Particularly if you need to sell in a quiet market,” Ms Segers says.
Jacque Parker, House Search Australia
Unusual topography and low-light areas are no-go zones.
“A dark house in a valley position surrounded by heritage-protected trees can be next to impossible to let light and air flow in, despite all the skylights and damp proofing available,” Ms Parker says.
Nick Viner, Buyer’s Domain
It is almost impossible to negotiate on a property with major structural issues or termites.
“You could never negotiate a substantially low enough purchase price to compensate for these very costly items so it is best just to walk away,” Mr Viner says.
“If the property is in a flood-prone area or is on top of or close to a natural water course or channel, that would also be a no-no for me.”
Claire Corby, Capital Buyers Agency
Not every problem property is a lost cause.
“Most aspects can be overcome,” Ms Corby says, citing double glazing for traffic or clever planting to hide poor outlook.
But it all depends what the problems are and on the size of the discount.
“Resolving the issues without overspending is the name of the game.”