Buying An Established Home

There are some great resources available for house hunters. The online property websites like and Domain allow you to narrow your search to particular areas and within that you can select what features you’d like your home to have such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can set up alerts based on your preferences so that when a suitable property becomes available you’ll get an email.

You can also look at the windows of real estate agents in the suburbs you’re interested in and check out the local newspapers. You may even want to chat to a local real estate agent and let them know what kind of home you’re looking for as they may know of some that have not yet been advertised.

Once you’ve found some properties that meet your criteria, check if there’s a convenient time to view the property. Times for a general open inspection are often listed in the advertisement and anyone can view the property at that time.  If no time is listed, or the open inspection isn’t at a convenient time for you, phone the real estate agent and make an appointment to see the home.

Going to inspect homes can be time consuming so it’s good to stick to the criteria you’ve set so that you’re not overwhelmed.

Viewing a property is always interesting.  Again, keep your criteria to hand so you don’t get carried away by the beautiful water feature in the garden and don’t notice the tiny bedroom size. It’s nice to go to an open inspection with your partner or a friend.  Having another pair of eyes to spot the positive and negatives is really helpful in making your decisions.

Allow about half an hour to view the property if you feel it meets your criteria.  Walk through it all and if you like it walk through it again much more carefully. Check the structure of the building as well as looking for damp patches or cracks in the walls inside and out and be on your guard for the musty smell of damp.

Confirm the basics such as the taps, light switches and plug sockets are all in working order. Open and close the doors and windows to ensure they’re functional. If you do find any faults, bear in mind you may be the one who has to pay to fix them.

Take notes about the property as you go around, or right after you visit, while it’s still fresh in your mind.  The real estate agent usually gives a flyer with a plan of the property.  Use this to note the features of the home and the things you liked or didn’t like, especially the things you didn’t like that cannot be changed or are expensive to alter like the bathroom or kitchen. You can check with the real estate agent if it’s ok to take photos or videos for your personal use.

Remember to check if your mobile phone has connection at the property. 

Keep in mind the things that you already own. Do you need a lot of storage space?  Check if the property has enough storage or space where cupboards can be built.  Also, think about whether your current furniture will suit or even fit into the rooms. If you have some special furniture that you really want in your new home, you could measure it to be sure that it fits.

You’ve probably already decided on the area where you’d like to live in terms of proximity to your work, local shops, schools and medical facilities. When you’re at the open inspection look around at the neighbouring area.  Does the suburb seem well kept?  Do the neighbouring properties look nice?  Listen for the traffic noise or a railway or tram or noisy neighbours.  If you like a house and are considering buying it, then it’s a good idea to view it two or three times at different times of day, just to check you didn’t miss anything crucial, to find out how the light, traffic and surrounding noises change and to ensure you actually like it as much as you think you do.

We’re here to help you

Dealing with banks can be a stressful experience but rest assured that our mortgage broker based in Glenelg (but our mortgage broker services the entire Adelaide Metropolitan area) can help you make the right decision about your mortgage. We will guide you at every stage of your loan process.

Contact us on 08 8376 0455 or drop into our office at 593 Anzac Highway, Glenelg SA 5045. 

Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Information in this article is correct as of the date of publication and is subject to change.