Firstly before buying a property, it is important to know what is due diligence in property? The term refers to the period before signing a purchase contract when a buyer is required to investigate a home. To make the entire process straightforward, it is vital to have a property due diligence checklist with every buyer.
Of course, we understand this is a crucial step whether you are buying a house or a piece of land. Whether you’re doing all the research or hiring a buyer’s agent, read this article to get the complete due diligence checklist in Australia.
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How to do due diligence on a property in Australia?
Inspecting your prospective property is very important. It will keep you on the law’s good side or save any future miscellaneous expenses. Here is a checklist for buying a house:
Flooding or bushfire problem
The risks of fire and water in certain areas may subject properties to loss. You should thoroughly investigate these dangers and the consequences for land management, construction, and insurance premiums.
Another critical part of the property due diligence checklist is the presence of asbestos. Older properties may have used asbestos in construction. This is now a hazardous material that needs to be removed by trained and accredited operators.
Building permits and approvals
Check that all building permits and approvals are in place for any property you’re considering buying. These approval documents confirm that the property has been constructed or renovated following all relevant planning and building regulations.
Zoning regulations define how the land can be used and developed; that is why this is included in the property due diligence checklist. Local government authorities set them, and you can find out what the zoning is for a particular property through your real estate agent.
You can also do your research at the council office. Make sure the property you’re interested in complies with current zoning regulations.
Easements, covenants, and restrictions
An easement allows you to use someone else’s land legally for a particular purpose, such as running water or sewerage pipes through the property.
A covenant is an agreement between the owner of a property and another party, such as a local council, that limits how the property can be used.
A restriction is a condition placed on the title of a property that determines what can be done with it. Don’t forget to add these three to your due diligence checklist property and read all the documents properly before investing.
If you’re buying an investment property that already has tenants, their leases will need to be transferred to the new owner. Check that the current leases are in order and there are no problems with the tenants.
If you’re thinking of buying a unit in a strata title property, you’ll need to become a member of the property’s body corporate. The body corporate is responsible for the property’s common areas, such as gardens, swimming pools, and lifts.
You’ll be required to pay levies to the body corporate to cover the cost of maintaining these areas. Don’t forget to add this to your property due diligence checklist.
Contaminated land is land that has been polluted by hazardous materials, such as chemicals or oil. It can be possible that you are buying property on contaminated land.
Therefore, you’ll need to have it assessed by an environmental consultant to check the amount of the contamination and remediation costs.
An outstanding order is a notice issued by a local council or other authority that requires the property owner to carry out repairs or make changes to the property.
Outstanding orders can cover various issues, such as illegal construction work, dangerous buildings, and environmental problems.
Title deeds must definitely feature in every due diligence property checklist. These show who owns the property and any restrictions on its use. It’s essential to check the title deeds before buying a property to ensure there are no problems with the title.
A building inspection is an independent assessment of a property’s condition. It’s advisable to have a building inspection carried out before you buy a property to be aware of any problems that need to be fixed.
Pest and building report
One of the top contenders on the property due diligence checklist is checking for pests. A pest report assesses a property for damage caused by pests, such as termites.
A building report assesses the property for structural defects. These reports are generally carried out by independent inspectors and can give you valuable information about the condition of a property.
If you plan to build a home on a property, you’ll need to have a soil test carried out to assess the condition of the soil. The soil test results will determine whether the property is suitable for construction.
When you’re considering buying a property, it’s vital to understand the ongoing costs associated with owning and maintaining the property. These costs can include council rates, water rates, body corporate fees, and insurance.
You should also consider the potential income from rent if you’re planning to buy an investment property.
This is one of the most essential parts of the property due diligence checklist. If you’re buying property near a development site or other sensitive area, you may be required to have the property assessed by a government body.
Also, verify that your previous owner’s licences and permits are current. Make sure that all conditions have been met and that the licences and permits are in good standing with the proper owner. Look for whether a transfer is necessary.
A planning permit is needed from the local council if you want to carry out certain types of development on a property. These permits are generally only needed for significant developments, such as building an extension or setting up a business.
If the property you’re buying is owned by someone who has died, you’ll need to have the property assessed for probate. Probate is the legal process of assigning a person’s assets after they die.
Moving to the countryside
Rural areas are different from the city lifestyle. For example, moving to a state like Victoria, you need a special ‘buying a house checklist Victoria.’
Is the surrounding environment suitable for your lifestyle preferences? You cannot uproot native vegetation. There are always limitations that regulate nature safety. This may, however, disrupt your building plan.
Also, ask around for farming as it has cattle and a distinctive smell that might not suit your preferences. Consider your mode of transportation. If you need to travel to the city for work, you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to get there.
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