Five pitfalls every first home buyer and investor should avoid

Buying a property is a long-term investment but there are five crucial things every buyer should be aware of to avoid long-term pain and expenses.

Man spraying pesticides in kitchen
It may be tempting to cut costs when buying a property but cutting costs on things like pest control can prove costly. (Image source:

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer eager to step into home ownership or an investor looking to expand your portfolio, the process can be both exhilarating and daunting.

Amidst the excitement, it’s crucial to approach property purchases with a keen eye for potential issues that could have long-term consequences.

Beyond the cosmetic appeal of a property, there are critical factors to consider during inspections to avoid costly pitfalls down the road.

Five key considerations for first-time homebuyers and property can impact lending, risk assessment and future resale value.

Locating the perfect property

The location of a property plays a crucial role in its desirability, resale value, and rental income potential.

Factors like noise pollution, environmental hazards such as flood and bush fire zones and zoning restrictions can significantly impact a property’s appeal and long-term viability.

Assessing the neighbourhood’s amenities, infrastructure and future development plans is essential for homebuyers and investors alike.

Lenders and valuers consider location-related factors when assessing property risk, as they can influence resale prospects and market demand. Properties in undesirable locations may face challenges in attracting buyers or tenants, affecting their investment potential, in the short and long term.

Pests not a petty concern

Pest infestations can quickly turn a dream property into a nightmare, causing extensive damage and health hazards.

From termites gnawing away at wooden structures to rodents spreading disease, pests can wreak havoc on a property's integrity.

Identifying termite nests, droppings or signs of infestation during inspections is crucial.

This can be a huge property risk, as they can lead to costly repairs and decreased property value.

Moreover, a history of pest problems may deter future buyers or tenants, affecting resale prospects and rental income.

A building and pest inspection should be carried out before a deposit is paid.

Detecting property hazards

Asbestos, lead paint, and mould are environmental hazards that pose significant health risks and legal liabilities.

Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to respiratory illnesses, while lead paint can be harmful, especially to children.

Mould growth, often a result of moisture build-up, can exacerbate respiratory conditions and trigger allergies.

Identifying and addressing these hazards during inspections is essential for mitigating health risks and ensuring compliance with regulations.

A property with these hazards can lead to costly remediation and legal disputes.

Properties with a history of environmental hazards may face challenges in resale and rental markets, impacting their long-term value.

Cutting out the tradies

Faulty electrical wiring and outdated plumbing systems can pose safety hazards and lead to costly repairs and not just in older or dated homes.

Many modern homes can also be poorly built and have bad plumbing and electrical works.

Rusty pipes, water leaks and electrical faults are issues that should be addressed promptly to prevent accidents and property damage.

Identifying these concerns during inspections allows buyers and investors to budget for necessary repairs and upgrades.

These faults are harder to see with the naked eye and require a professional opinion and inspection.

Structuring a successful investment

The structural integrity and overall condition of a property is paramount, influencing its safety, durability, and resale potential.

Cracks in walls or ceilings, sagging floors and signs of water damage are red flags that warrant immediate attention.

These structural issues not only pose safety risks but can also signal underlying problems that may require extensive repairs.

Lending institutions and valuers take note of such issues, which could affect the property’s risk rating and loan eligibility. Moreover, unresolved structural issues can deter future buyers or tenants, diminishing the property's resale value and rental income potential.

By prioritising due diligence and seeking professional guidance, buyers and investors can avoid costly property pitfalls and secure assets that stand the test of time.

Article Q&A

What are five things every property buyer should do?

It’s crucial to approach property purchases with a keen eye for potential issues that could have long-term consequences. As well as identifying the perfect location, buyers should carry out pest control, look for hazards like asbestos and mould, check for structural integrity, and assess the plumbing and electrical systems.

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