Most people know about the big-ticket items to check when buying a property, such as flight paths, school zones, getting building and strata inspections, proximity to public transport and shops, or if there’s a development application for a monster tower opposite.
Sometimes the issues that don’t occur to us at the time have the power to turn what looked like a dream home into a nightmare.
Once you’ve got bad neighbours, it’s very hard to get rid of them, and once you’ve drawn their enmity, it can be hell.
“Falling out with neighbours and having disputes with them can be unpleasant and costly,” says buyers’ agent Gerry McPhee, of Hand McPhee. “So if you can avoid having bad neighbours, you’ll be much better off.”
How to check: Talk to your potential neighbours before you buy, advises hotspotting national property analyst Terry Ryder, as well as others around them, asking how they find the area. “You can even sit in your car and observe the street at night to see if there are any problems …”.
Property inspections are often scheduled at the quietest times. “And while things like a noisy aircon unit that runs 24/7 outside your window are fixable, sirens from fire or ambulance stations, and train noise from tracks just around the corner are not,” Patrick Bright says.
“Noise travels, and can be very disturbing, particularly at night.”
How to check: You need to drop around at all times to clock the decibel count, especially in the evening and at night, and be wary of nearby rowdy pubs and patrons at closing time.
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