Buying a home is possibly the biggest financial decision you will ever make. So before you buy a home, you should be aware of a range of issues that may affect that property and impose restrictions or obligations on you, if you buy it.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has put together a due diligence checklist for home and residential property buyers.
This checklist aims to help you identify whether any of these issues will affect you.
The questions are a starting point only and you may need to seek professional advice to answer some of them.
Some of the questions are detailed below but you can find the entire checklist at consumer.vic.gov.au/duediligencechecklist
Is the property subject to an owners corporation?
If the property is part of a subdivision with common property such as driveways or grounds, it may be subject to an owners corporation. You may be required to pay fees and follow rules that restrict what you can do on your property, such as a ban on pet ownership.
Does this property experience flooding or bushfire?
Properties are sometimes subject to the risk of fire and flooding due to their location. You should properly investigate these risks and consider their implications for land management, buildings and insurance premiums.
Moving to the country?
If you are looking at property in a rural zone, consider:
- Is the surrounding land use compatible with your lifestyle expectations? Farming can create noise or odour that may be at odds with your expectations of a rural lifestyle.
- Are you considering removing native vegetation? There are regulations which affect your ability to remove native vegetation on private property.
- Do you understand your obligations to manage weeds and pest animals?
Can you build new dwellings?
Does the property adjoin crown land, have a water frontage, contain a disused government road, or are there any crown licences associated with the land?
Is there any earth resource activity such as mining in the area?
You may wish to find out more about exploration, mining and quarrying activity on or near the property and consider the issue of petroleum, geothermal and greenhouse gas sequestration permits, leases and licences, extractive industry authorisations and mineral licences.