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In the market? Properties you should think twice about

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When it comes to home buying, what suits one family may not be right for another. So when you find your dream home, make sure you’ve considered every feature just in case you want to sell it in the future, writes local real estate expert Henny Stier.

As a professional property buyer, I often get asked if there are certain properties that buyers should not buy. Most people would assume a property expert would give the advice to stay away from properties on busy roads, for example. Yes, it is true that given the choice of a property on a busy road versus not, it would make sense to give preference to the one less noisy. However, the reality is that the property on the busy road is probably significantly cheaper. At the end of the day, all property buyers have a budget and sometimes big compromises have to be made in order to buy anything at all. Therefore, it is far more constructive to frame this article in the context of properties which buyers should think twice about if budget and choice permit.

  • Homes on busy roads
  • Homes which have a reversed layout (i.e. grass area or pool at front of house instead of rear)
  • Bad layout that does not flow well (e.g. bedrooms scattered in different parts of the home)
  • Properties situated on flame-zone land
  • Flood-prone land
  • Heritage-listed homes or those adjacent to one
  • Superstitious number (you might not care but your future buyers might)
  • Houses significantly below street level
  • Properties with difficult access (e.g. lots of stairs just to get from the street to the front door)
  • Houses with little or no level lawn area
  • Properties which have difficult visitor parking
  • Properties close to power stations/lines, radio tower, etc.
  • Properties near or over tunnel or smoke stacks.
  • Weird-shaped lots
  • Backyards which have large rocks (which can create a waterfall effect during rain)
  • Poorly positioned board sewer or easements which would affect the future use of the site
  • Lots of large trees on the property which cannot be removed
  • Homes that have been flipped (because usually the quality of the renovation is not the best)
  • Properties backing onto the train tracks
  • Buying off-the plan
  • Company Title properties
  • Over 55 properties
  • Fibro houses (because of the health risks and also the risk of over-capitalising with any upgrades done to the property)

Any property will sell in a boom market. It is just a matter of price. However, the concern with properties which have significant weaknesses is that they might take a long time to sell or not sell at all in a bad market regardless of how low the price is dropped. The bottom line is that sellers need to be realistic. What they purchase at a substantial discount will most likely also need to be sold at a discount despite whatever improvements are made. Buyers need to be careful not to over-capitalise and hope that fancy cosmetics will detract from the major negatives. If selling, the price needs to be right; and sellers need to leave plenty of time as it could take a while to find the right buyer.

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