Property Wish List
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Remember when we were kids and we would think about the features of our dream house? Usually it would have something like a rocket launch pad next to the shed or a stable for horses (or unicorns) near your bedroom. Unrealistic for sure. But it touches on how intrinsic having a new home wish list is when you're in the property market. Whether you are looking to invest or to buy your home, here's a moving house checklist for important items you might like to consider:
Nooks and crannies
There's an old adage that you can never have too much storage - unless you're a chronic hoarder.
Some homes rely on moveable storage, like cupboards and chests. Such furniture can be expensive and let's face it, sometimes just downright ugly. Also, storing your things in furniture allows you to forget where things are and lose things. All that stuff just takes up valuable space.
Built-ins are valuable as they use the existing structure and generally allow you to better access your things.
Those cleans lines without bulky storage furniture are aesthetically pleasing too.
A home for your car
The biggest item you are likely to store is your car. Off street parking, particularly in city areas is a premium aspect of any home.
Some say your car is your most expensive item of clothing. That may or may not be so, but it’s certainly expensive and should be looked after. Abandoning your four-wheeled friend to the weather and the street isn't in your best interests. Or your car's.
Carports or garages also serve a valuable purpose as man caves. Not to be downplayed in any family.
Something else for your house buying checklist is a swift commute to work, school or shops.
Dense urban areas are generally close to most things, but you can't always choose your workplace, or your kids' school.
There are few things more tiring, stressful or unhealthy as spending half your days getting to and from where you need to be. It wastes time and resources.
For your lifestyle or for the benefit of your tenants or buyers, ensure your property is close to where the action is.
What are you looking for in your life? How do you really want to live? What's most important to you and your family?
These are big questions but it is surprising how many don't even ask them, let alone answer them, when they are looking for their home or investment property.
It's probably more obvious if you're buying your home. It’s probably the wrong move to buy a unit in the CBD, three hours from the nearest coastline, when you love the beach and your 12 year-old is into surfing.
But broaching these questions is just as important if you're investing. Why buy an investment property in another state if you don't really want to spend time there and it’s expensive to go?
Put lifestyle top of your list and you will manifest the property you want.
Even those living on acreage will attest to the value of good neighbours. For those living closer together, it's a no-brainer.
It's difficult though to truly assess potential neighbours – you can hardly drop a questionnaire in their letterbox.
But, if the neighbour's place looks neat and tidy, well looked after and clean, they are probably unlikely to pose a problem. Not to say grubby neighbours can't be nice people, it's just less obvious.
If and when you are at a property you are considering, you spot a neighbour, say hi and try and strike up a conversation. They'll likely be sizing you up too – so take the opportunity to bond.
Most properties in Australia have the basics: electricity, water, phone lines. But some are better than others.
Plenty of working power points and phone/internet sockets, good lighting, a functioning kitchen, water outlets and good water pressure (and good water storage if off-grid) can make your life a lot better in the long run. Fixing problems in these areas can be annoying, expensive and sometimes intractable.
Internet access these days is increasingly crucial especially for home businesses. You can also research to see when the high-speed NBN will be rolled-out to your area and if your property will be full equipped.
Room to breath
Our lives change and our home should be able to adapt to those shifts. The arrival or departure of children, new careers or interests, or aging relatives moving in could all alter your living situation.
Probably the most common renovation is the addition of a room. Does your home have the capacity for that and the council regulations that will make that easy?
Some homes, particularly older ones, contain asbestos in the structure for instance, and so renovating can be expensive, time consuming and possibly dangerous. Some are just not built with change in mind and don't provide the structural integrity or even space to consider relatively simple additions or redesigns.
Bathroom fittings, lighting, kitchen remodelling can both add value to your home and make your time there a lot more comfortable.
These days, quality features are relatively easy to put in, so it's less a question of whether they are there or not but whether your home is right for the look you are going for. Some places are made to jazz up and play around with.
So, if the property doesn't already have the kind of extras you are looking for, ask yourself whether it can handle what you have in mind.
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