Tips for Buyers

Looking to buy a property in Adelaide, South Australia?

Be it your Dream Home or Investment Property, we are sure that you will find our tips below useful!

Use A Land Conveyancer

Consider talking to your conveyancer about your Contract and Form 1’s – they will point out any concerns and interpret the legal jargon contained in most contracts.
Agents will want to make a sale and are not always interested in the welfare of buyers (after all they act for the vendors).

Building And Pest Inspection

Find a reputable and qualified BUILDING INSPECTOR and check the property thoroughly.
You should do this prior to signing a contract as this could influence the price you offer for the home.
Most of us wouldn’t buy a car without a mechanical inspection a few hundred dollars could save thousands ALSO you will be aware of what maintenance issues are ahead.


An independent licensed valuation is to determine the “Fair Market Value” of the home.
Whilst you may have a fair idea of values you are also more emotionally attached to the home.
This could cloud your judgement.

Allow For Hidden Costs

No matter what anyone tells you or no matter what you believe, buying a home is going to cost you more than you think.
You will discover fees and expenses that you never knew existed.
For some “reason” things that have been fine for years break down just after you purchase the home.
We are amazed at the number of hot water services that break down around sale time.
It’s almost eerie!

What Price Pride Or Ego?

Before you buy ask yourself which is more important to you: Having a home that looks great and you worry about the repayments OR Having a home where you don’t have to worry about the repayments??
Perhaps you could consider buying a smaller home for a cheaper price in a less profile area.
It’s much cheaper to buy extra beds for visitors than it is to buy empty bedrooms. Remember excess debt is a major cause of unhappiness!


Take care not to borrow too much based on your present situation.
You must make allowances for changes in your circumstances in the future.
IDEA! Calculate an extra percentage on your loan and see if you can still afford this new amount. Then pay extra from day one.
If interest rates go up you’ll be fine and if they don’t your loan will be paid off earlier.

Inclusion Costs

You may spend too much on the purchase price of a home leaving you short of money for inclusions, improvements or furnishings.
Having your dream home in the right area is great BUT not if it impacts on your living standards and you can’t afford to upgrade and maintain your home.

Instinct Neglect

Don’t ignore your “instincts” or “gut-feel”.
The right home has the right feel, just as the right person has the right feel – no-one should buy a home without having that feeling.
Don’t rush in unless you know this is the home for you.

Initial Costs

It is easy to grossly underestimate the expense of moving into and settling into a new home.
When you first move into your home anything that is going to go wrong seems to go wrong.
Be prepared for a break down and maintenance work.
New hot water services are expensive. Most buyers fail to anticipate these outcomes.

Buy A ‘Rogue’

Home Be careful you don’t buy a “Rogue” home because you could overlook something obvious such as noisy neighbours or odours from factories nearby.
You should inspect the property at various times and try to meet the neighbours.
Get to know the home before you move in.
Become a little suspicious of any home that has had several owners in a short period.

The Fed Up Purchase

You may get tired of looking, you may become desperate and buy something which is reasonable, rather than something which is suitable.
Don’t talk yourself into buying something you don’t like. This is a costly decision you may regret for years.
With patience the right home is always found.
If you become frustrated stop looking for a few weeks.
At Lakes and Portside we have “Home Finders” looking for homes for buyers everyday you never know when you could get a call to say we’ve found your new home!

Running Costs

Do not underestimate the continual expense of a home eg. rates, insurance, maintenance costs and in the case of investment properties the dreaded “Land Tax”.
Owning a home can cost a lot more than renting.
First home buyers are particularly susceptible to underestimating the running costs of a family home. Not many homes can be maintained under $150/week, that’s an extra $7,800 per year.

Market Influence

Do not be influenced by the market more than your own situation – waiting for prices to go up or down is to gamble with your family’s future.
If you find the home which feels good and you can afford it you should rarely let the market conditions become a major influence factor.

Over Cautious

Buy within your limits but don’t go too far below what you can afford you may spend several years wishing you had paid a bit extra for a better home.
If you can’t find a home to suit you consider a cheaper area.
What is more important the “Address” or the “House”?

Buy On Price

Do not buy on price more than emotion the home itself is more important than the price “Provided” it is within your range.
Some people see the home they really want and if they can’t have a big discount they refuse to buy.
Ego and pride get in the way of a wise decision and cause major regret in the future.


You may be tempted to make no decision.
You may look for months and years and while you are doing this you’ll be paying rent and prices may rise.
You could be left behind!
Don’t rush your decision but buying something is better than buying nothing.
“Long Term” property has proven to be a great investment.

Friend Phobia

Do not allow your relatives and your friends make the major decision of buying a home – sure seek their advice and opinions but remember they don’t have the same emotions as you.
Friends mean well, but it is unfair to pass the final decision to anyone other than the people who will live in the home.
Often those providing advice already have their dream home and because they have not been actively researching the market they may not have seen what you have previously rejected.

Professional Inspections

It is very important to hire ethical, competent and independent PAID professionals to check a home be aware that most professionals are trained and paid to find faults.
Look at the major faults don’t let the minor faults trouble you too much. Poor guttering is much less than poor footings.

Believing The Agents

Agents represent the sellers. Everything they say should be verified, not because they will necessarily mislead you, but simply because the agents do not live in the property.
Agents want to make sales.
You want to find the right home. Some agents will attempt to sell you a home which is wrong for you just to make the sale.
Don’t be afraid to question the agents.