Buying Property For Dummies


Do you search property websites, wondering whether a particular property could be your dream home? Do you feel like you're wasting money on rent but are confused by the world of real estate-and real estate agents? Relax! This practical guide covers all aspects of buying property, from buying a piece of history to building from scratch to signing on the dotted line.

Work out whether you're ready to buy-find out whether you're ready for the ...

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Do you search property websites, wondering whether a particular property could be your dream home? Do you feel like you're wasting money on rent but are confused by the world of real estate-and real estate agents? Relax! This practical guide covers all aspects of buying property, from buying a piece of history to building from scratch to signing on the dotted line.

Work out whether you're ready to buy-find out whether you're ready for the commitment of buying property, financially and psychologically

Focus in on the right property for you-determine your 'must haves' and like to haves', and whether you'll need to make a trade-off between these and your preferred location

Decide what kind of property you want-discover if your best option is to buy off the plan, find an established property or build yourself

Deal with property professionals-cut through real estate agent spin and understand how buyers' agents work

Find the right finance-choose the home loan that suits you and your finances

Negotiate a great deal-move smoothly through the buying and settlement process, whether buying at auction or through private treaty sale

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780730375562
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Edition description: 2nd Australian Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 985,487
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Karin Derkley is the former deputy editor of Personal Investor magazine, and continues to write for The Age and AFR Smart Investor magazine. She has also lived through the pleasures and pitfalls of purchasing and renovating her own home.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

How to Use This Book 2

Foolish Assumptions 3

How This Book Is Organised 3

Part I The Great Australian Dream 3

Part II Finding Your Dream Home 4

Part III Borrowing For, Buying and Protecting Your Home 5

Part IV The Part of Tens 5

Icons Used in This Book 5

Where to Go from Here 6

Part I The Great Australian Bream 7

Chapter 1 Assessing the Dream: Buying Property 9

Looking at Whether You're Ready to Buy a Home 10

Renting versus Buying 11

Liking the advantages of renting 12

Disliking the disadvantages of renting 13

Understanding How Your Home Is an Investment 14

Owning Your Home Is Tax-Friendly 16

The Government's Leg-Up-the First Home Owner Grant 17

Getting Ready to Scrimp and Save 18

Agonising Over the Time to Buy 19

Searching for Your Ideal Home 20

Smartening Up Your Home 21

Chapter 2 Squeezing Your Foot onto the Property Ladder 23

The Costs of Buying a Home 24

Drumming up the deposit 26

Begging to borrow 27

Government slugs and sweeteners 28

Paying off the lawyers 30

Counting every last bit and bob 30

Calculating Your Monthly Outgoings 32

Home maintenance costs 33

Rates, fees and insurance 34

Regular living costs 35

Plans for the future 35

Looking at Funding Strategies 35

First Home Savers Accounts 36

Staying with the parents 37

Doing it solo 38

Getting together with friends 38

Asking the parents to help out 39

Investing in shares and managed funds 41

Chapter 3 The Position or the Property 43

Dreaming Up Your Perfect Home 44

Must Haves, Like to Haves and Mustn't Haves 44

Trading Off Location against the Perfect Home 49

Spotting up-and-coming suburbs 50

Moving to the fringes 51

Escaping to the country 52

Going high rise 53

Chapter 4 Dealing with Property Professionals 55

Working with Real Estate Agents 55

Understanding a real estate agent's motivation 56

Getting to the truth on property value 57

Getting a real estate agent to help you find a property 59

Putting In an Offer 60

Dealing with Buyers' Agents 60

Finding a competent buyers' agent-avoiding the pitfalls 61

Counting the costs of using a buyers' agent 63

Negotiating a purchase on your behalf 64

Understanding What (Selling or Buyers') Agents Can and Can't Do 64

Part II Finding Hour bream Home 67

Chapter 5 The Search Is On 69

Setting Up Your Search Strategy 70

Keeping track of all the information 70

Doing the research 71

Narrowing Down the Search 76

Paring down the properties 76

Understanding real-estate speak 77

Doing the drive-by 78

Checking out trains, trams and buses 79

Strolling to the corner shops 79

Assessing the Properties on the Short List 79

Attending an Open for Inspection 81

Working out a schedule of visits 81

What to look for during an inspection 82

Taking a Critical Look at a Property 84

Getting a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Done 85

Chapter 6 Buying a Piece of History 87

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Period Home 88

Impressive pros 88

Not-so-impressive cons 89

Living with the idiosyncrasies of a period home 89

Dealing with Heritage Restrictions 90

Renovating your period home 92

Restoring original features 93

Architectural Periods and Styles 94

Colonial style: 1788-1830s 95

Georgian period: 1810s-1840s 95

Victorian styles 96

Federation or Edwardian style: 1901-16 98

Queenslander: 1880s-1940 99

Californian bungalow: 1916-1940s 99

Early modern: 1915-1940s 100

Modernist: 1945-70 101

Chapter 7 Renovator's Dream (or Nightmare) 103

Tackling a Renovator's Delight 104

Making the place livable 104

Progressing from livable to lovable 105

Planning the Job 107

Obtaining the necessary permits 107

Getting the work done 110

Doing It Yourself 110

Deciding whether you're up to the job 110

Becoming an owner-builder 113

Taking out home warranty insurance 115

Calling in qualified tradespeople 116

Acting as project manager 117

Hiring Designers and Project Managers 117

Resolving complex renovation situations 118

Handing over the project management 119

Hiring a Builder 119

Getting a quote 120

Signing the contract 120

Living Through the Building Process 121

Moving out until the dust settles 122

Staying put during renovations 122

Funding Your Renovation 123

Chapter 8 Nice and New 125

Buying Into a Housing Estate 126

Checking out an estate 127

Studying the developer 128

The House First or the Land? 129

Getting the land first, then the house 129

Taking the package 130

Looking Behind the Facade of the Display Home 131

Knowing about inclusions 132

Deciding on some optional extras 132

Upgrading to a better model 133

Getting finance through the developer 133

Your Dream Home: From Plans to Completion 134

Project Building 135

Buying 'Off the Plan' 135

Imagining your home from a glossy brochure 136

Finding out everything you can 137

Chapter 9 Building from Scratch 139

Starting with a Block of Land 140

Assessing a block of land 141

Working with a less-than-great block of land 142

Designing Your Dream Home 142

Finding someone to turn your vision into reality 143

Harnessing an architect's vision 143

Deciding on a building designer 145

Getting a draftsperson to draw your design 145

Choosing an architect or building designer 146

Moving from Concept to Contract 148

Drawing up the concept plans 148

Developing the design 148

Finalising the plans 148

Signing contracts and project managing 149

Building a Home of Your Own 149

The responsibilities of the owner-builder 150

Looking at your options 152

Taking a course for owner-builders 153

Getting council approval 153

Getting on with tradespeople 154

Part III Borrowing For, Buying and Protecting your Home 155

Chapter 10 Climbing Aboard the Mortgage Merry-Go-Round 157

Understanding How a Mortgage Works 158

Qualifying for a Loan 159

Lending criteria 159

Providing documents to your lender 161

Choosing the Home Loan That Suits You and Your Hip Pocket 162

To fix or not to fix 162

Splitting the difference 164

Introductory illusions 165

No-frills variable 165

Standard variable vanilla 166

Line of credit loans 167

Going professional 167

Shopping Around for Your Lender 168

Stand-alone mortgage 168

The mortgage as the core of your finances 169

Who's who of mortgage lenders 171

Choosing the right mortgage broker for you 172

Deciding to change your mortgage lender 174

When You're Not the Standard Mould 175

Accessing no-doc and low-doc loans 176

Looking around when your credit is impaired 177

Understanding Your Credit File and What to Do about a Bad One 179

Bypassing the Banks Altogether 180

Chapter 11 Going, Going, Gone: Buying at Auction 183

Assessing the Pros and Cons of Auctions 184

Estimated Selling Prices and Other Half Truths 185

Understanding Auction Day 186

Introducing the property 187

The bidding war 187

Vendor bids 187

Bidding rules and regulations 188

On the market 189

Passed in 190

Tactics to beat the auctioneers at their own game 190

You make the winning bid-now what? 192

Making an Offer after a Property Is Passed In 192

Making a Pre-Auction Offer 193

Signing (After Reading) the Contract 194

Chapter 12 Making an Offer: Buying Through a Private Treaty Sale 195

Checking Out a Private Treaty Sale 195

Negotiating a price 196

Beating down the price 198

Making an offer 199

Putting conditions on your offer 202

Understanding what happens after the vendor agrees to your offer 203

Avoiding being 'gazumped' 204

Looking at Other Selling Methods 205

Set sales 205

Expressions of interest 206

Chapter 13 Sold to the Highest Bidder! Now What? 207

Signing on the Dotted Line 208

Knowing what to look for in a contract of sale 208

Making special conditions on the contract 209

Exchanging contracts and handing over the deposit 210

Argh! We made a mistake: Enter, the cooling-off period 211

Waiving your cooling-off period 213

Securing Your Final Loan Approval 213

Getting a Valuation Done 214

Settling on Your Property 215

Insuring Your Biggest Asset 217

Insuring the building 217

Calculating the costs of rebuilding your home 218

Insuring your possessions 220

Calculating the value of your possessions 221

Part IV The Part of Tens 223

Chapter 14 Ten Things to Remember as a First Home Buyer 225

Buy When You're Ready to Buy 225

Think Outside the Square 226

Look at Your First Purchase as a Springboard 227

Borrow No More Than You Can Afford 227

Another Property Is Always around the Corner 228

Don't Pay Too Much for a Property 228

Keep Your Emotions in Check When Looking at a Home 229

Be Sceptical of Selling Agents 229

Renovating Can Wait 230

The Mortgage Does Go Down-Eventually 230

Chapter 15 Ten Areas (Almost!) to Check at Open Homes 233

Kitchen 233

Bathroom 235

Lounge 236

Dining Room 237

Bedrooms 237

Laundry 238

Garage 239

Backyard or Balcony 240

Street Appeal 241

Index 243

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