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Top Tips for Buying a House in the ACT

Buying a house is one of life’s major purchases. If not managed correctly it can become a prolonged and stressful process. In todays article we outline the things you can do to make sure the whole process runs as smoothly as possible.

Tip 1 – Get your financials (bank funds) sorted first

It is extremely important to know your borrowing capacity when you are looking at purchasing a property so it is best to obtain a pre-approval from your bank/broker before the temptation of looking for your new home.

Once you have decided on a property you must execute any loan documents with your bank as a matter of urgency to avoid any delays with Settlement.

Tip 2 – Get your property inspected

In the ACT it is a requirement for the Seller to provide a Building Report, however you can have the property assessed by an independent building inspector, remembering that you will be responsible for the cost of the Seller’s building reports and any independent inspections you obtain.

We would highly recommend that you obtain an independent Asbestos Report for any home that was built over 30 years ago due to the recent issues with the Asbestos known as Mr Fluffy.

Tip 3 – Use an experienced conveyancer

This is important because they have likely seen it all before and know the best way to handle all kinds of situations involved in the process, they will have a high level of knowledge and relationships with other people in the industry.

Tip 4 – Understand there may be hiccups along the way

Things do go wrong when purchasing property, the most common being:

1. The bank is unable to settle on time.
If the loan cannot be processed by the date of settlement, you will be unable to meet your settlement obligations on time. This will cause you to be in breach of your Contract of Sale and you may incur penalty fees, interest, or termination of the contract in some cases. Be sure to discuss all of your options with your solicitor or conveyancer to help ensure that all of your loan documents will be able to be processed in a timely manner. In some cases, you will also be able to apply for a settlement extension.

2. The property is not in the same condition as when you signed your Contract of Sale.
If you notice flaws or maintenance issues when you conduct a final inspection of the property, you will need to discuss your rights with your conveyancer. You have certain rights under the Contract of Sale and you should be able to dispute the condition of the property. This is unfortunately a quite common issue, which your solicitor or conveyancer will be able to assist you with.
When any of these issues arise, it’s vital to have an experienced conveyancer or solicitor on your side to assist you. They can help you navigate each problem according to your specific situation and needs.

3. You or the seller can’t settle on time and you’ve booked your removalist and taken time off work?
If settlement is cancelled for any reason by either the Seller or the Buyer, Chamberlains can discuss with the Seller’s solicitor if occupation would be available. The Seller is entitled to decline this request however if they agree the solicitors will prepare an occupation agreement and negotiate a rental amount that can be adjusted for on settlement. If the Buyer takes occupation prior to settlement the Buyer is expected to accept the property in its current state.

For more information or assistance with buying your home in the ACT contact us:

Chamberlains Law Firm

Kellie White – Conveyancing Paralegal
E Kellie.white@chamberlains.com.au
P 02 6215 9100

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