Buying a Property: Questions to Ask Before Making an Offer

property-investmentBuying a property is one of the financial milestones in everyone’s life. Whether you are buying your first-ever property or are looking to diversify your investment portfolio with a holiday home or rental unit, the excitement of a property purchase can fade extremely fast if you discover you’ve put in an offer on a sub-standard home.

Most property purchases involve a real estate agent, whose mandate is to sell the property at a price that is satisfactory to both buyer and seller. As a prospective buyer, you should ensure that the property you make an offer on meets your personal requirements, especially if you will be living in it. Before you submit your offer, make sure you ask the following questions:

Questions about Location

  • How are house prices performing in this area?
  • What is the average return on investment for properties in this area?
  • How safe and well-organised is the area?
  • Is the area zoned for residential properties only or is it mixed?
  • How many more houses are zoned in the area?
  • Is the surrounding infrastructure efficient and well maintained?

Questions about Roads and Transport

  • Is the road network adequate and how much traffic is there on average?
  • Are there any major construction projects like highways planned nearby?
  • Are there any landfills, airports or train tracks nearby?

Questions about Vacant Land

Is the property serviced with sewage and water lines, and is an electricity connection available?

  • What is the estimated fill replacement or removal for the site?
  • Will the site need extensive preparation before building can commence?
  • Is the soil suitable for construction and are there large rocks and boulders which need to be removed?

By asking the seller’s agent these questions and any others that you may have, you’ll be able to form a realistic idea of the property you are buying. The seller will also know that you are serious about making an offer and should mandate the agent to be direct and honest about the property.

Before you invest in property, meet with your financial advisor who will assess the status of your investments and advise you as to the ideal type and size of property which would suit your needs.

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