If you’re looking to use your first home loan and enter the property market, be wary of misinformation. One of the most important things to remember is that homes often look different in the flesh compared to the glossy photos posted online or in a brochure.

The property is being presented for sale, thus all visible age lines will be smoothed over or simply not included in any advertising. Therefore, it would make sense to try before you buy!

The favourable cash rate has added heat to the Australian property market, opening up real estate for more buyers as mortgage repayments become easier to manage.

In fact, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that on a monthly basis, the amount of money being allocated towards purchases of residential real estate has been pushing past $32 billion.

With the competition, it can be easy to become flustered and rush into a deal that could prove to be costly down the line. According to NSW Fair Trading, most home inspections last about half an hour, so here are a few tips for making the most of those 30 minutes at your next open home inspection.

Does everything work as it should?

Take everything in the home for a test ride. This includes:
•Opening and closing all the cupboards, draws, doors and windows
•Switching on all the lights to ensure they work and there is no sign of flickering
•Trying the taps to test the water pressure
•Flushing the toilet to determine the speed and noise of the cistern refilling
•Turning the shower on to test pressure and how long it takes to heat up
•Testing all the power outlets and utilities

What to look out for

Once you’ve confirmed the property has everything you desire, take a walk around and assess how much light it attracts. With the lights off, is there much sunlight throughout? Dark homes can often be more vulnerable to dampness and rot, and as such should be avoided. Look out for any signs of mould, which can include discoloured patches, a bubbled surface or a recent spot of paint to disguise the damage.

If the home passes your personal inspection, Consumer Affairs Victoria recommends enlisting the services of a professional property inspector to help ensure that you make an informed decision with your first home loan.

What’s next?

If you’re feeling confident following the inspections, before you make an offer you should seek the answer to the question “how much can I borrow?” Mortgage brokers can help you get pre-approved to the most suitable home loan rates for your situation, providing you with an idea of what you can afford.

You can contact a Smartline Mortgage Adviser on 13 14 97 for home loan advice. Or complete our call request form and we’ll call you!

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.