I raised the following important issues for the Buyers to consider in a recent article in a newspaper.
- Your budget and affordability – Valuation of property is critical. If the value assessed by your bank is less than what you thought, your loan may not be approved. Take a good look at your financial situation and your financial capabilities so you only buy what is affordable.
- Subject to finance – If your loan is not approved prior to your purchase, be sure to include a ‘subject to finance’ clause into your contract of sale. This will avoid your contract becoming binding while your loan is still unapproved.
- Inspection – Professional building inspection prior to signing the contract will reveal issues with the quality of construction, the state of foundation and any damage caused by water or pests.
- Contract of sale – Read the contract for sale including vendor statement carefully and ensure you understand the meaning of all the conditions of the contract. Note any important penalty clauses for delayed settlement or breach of contract.
- The Title – Is your seller the registered titleholder? A title needs to be current for settlement or it will create delays or may even result in termination of sale. Titles are often mortgaged with a bank. Ensure that the seller can pay off his loan and give you a clear and unencumbered title at settlement.
- Caveat – Look for any caveats on the title which the vendor must remove on or before the settlement. Consider lodging a caveat on the property you are purchasing to prevent the seller from acting contrary to your interest in the property.
- Restrictive covenant – Check for any restrictive covenants attached to the title such as the type of building and number of dwellings permitted on the land, the size of land at the back and front. Further look closely for any planning restrictions especially if you are buying for developing or rebuilding on the land.
- Important documents – Search independently documents such as title, water, rates, planning information, land tax clearance and Vicroads.
- Stamp duty – Build in stamp duty costs in your budget. You may be eligible for Principal Place of Residence (PPR) or First Home Owners concession. Note that foreign nationals may need to pay more stamp duty than Australian Permanent Residents or Citizens.
- Insurance – Ensure that the vendor has insurance on the property until settlement date and arrange your own insurance post settlement.
- Adjustment of costs – This is a statement of costs such as rates, water and land tax; what has been paid or is payable by the vendor until the date of settlement.
Most of the matters discussed above will require further legal consideration specific to your individual circumstance. Prospective buyers must seek appropriate legal advice.
All the best with your next property venture!
Shortly I will discuss some important issues for the Sellers
MM Legal Practice