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In the time it takes to watch an episode of Game of Thrones, cook a lasagne or listen to a podcast, Australians are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives.
According to new research, more than half of Australian house hunters spend just an hour inside the home they decide to purchase.
The ME Bank survey of 1000 property owners revealed once they found their property, 58 per cent spent less than 60 minutes checking out the property they eventually purchased, despite being one of the biggest purchases of their lifetime.
Furthermore, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of home buyers discovered issues with their property after they purchased it.
Around 36 per cent of this group said they missed picking these up issues because they ‘fell in love with the property and overlooked them’, while 32 per cent said they ‘lacked experience and skill in inspecting the property’, and 11 per cent were simply ‘impatient and tired of looking’.
Top post-purchase problems included paintwork, construction quality, gardens and fences, and fittings and chattels.
Universal Buyers Agent director Darren Piper said the research highlights the importance of doing your homework before making a purchase.
“Home buyers are often signing the paperwork to their dream home with rose-coloured glasses on,” he said.
“After spending weeks or months scrolling through listings and inspecting homes, it is common for home buyers to get complacent once they think they have found ‘the one’. Unfortunately, this often leads to some oversights which the buyers are then left to deal with after the deal has already been done," he said.
Among owners who identified issues:
· 74 per cent spent money fixing, replacing or improving the issues identified, or have plans to do so.
· 41 per cent would have paid less for the property had they discovered the problems earlier.
· 23 per cent experienced a degree of ‘buyers regret’ following the purchase.
Mr Piper said emotions can often cloud judgement when it comes to purchasing a home.
“Once a buyer starts making decisions with their hearts instead of their heads, that’s when they can pay too much for a property or overlook important issues,” he said.
“It’s important to spend more time inspecting the property you have your eye on with several return visits at different times of the day. Make sure you keep inspecting other properties too, so you can compare and contrast. Enlisting the help of a buyers agent will help avoid any of these issues occurring and ensure a buyer makes the best decisions when it comes to purchasing a home. Buyers agents are here to guide the buyer and keep a logical mindset and keep the emotion out of the transaction, therefore reducing the risk of anything going wrong," he said.
According to ME’s survey, around a third failed to arrange a professional building and pest inspection for the last property they purchased.