Real Estate

Air conditioning systems come in various styles, be sure to ask what type of system is in the property. Here are a few examples.

Reverse Cycle or split reverse cycle keeps you cool in the summer and will generate heat in the winter. These systems allow hot or cold air to be blown into the house or room.

Evaporative is a large unit generally on the roof, distributing cool air through a ducted pipe system to all or some of the house. This system does not generate any heat and is usually covered over in the winter.

Refridgerative can be a small unit on a side wall ( fridge like) distributing only cool air.

Swimming Pools

(Above & Below Ground WA only).

Pool fences or similar boundary measures are now a legal requirement to all houses that are sold in WA. The new purchaser has to comply with planning rules within 3 months of the moving in date and an inspection will take place by the shire to ensure the correct measures are taken. These measures are to ensure that no-one from public areas can access the pool or small children can gain access from the windows or doors of the house. Check links page for the Joondalup & Wanneroo Shire (council) sites.

Liner pools are a very common type of pool as they can be replaced every 15 years or whenever they start to wear. The pool is made of a concrete construction with a vinyl liner on the inside. These pools tend to hold the heat & chemicals efficiently reducing running costs. Check that the top edge of the liner near the water line is not worn, as this will be due to sun damage causing ripping. If the water level is very high be sure to get on your hands & knees to inspect the areas in direct sunlight.

Fibreglass molded pools are of solid construction and placed in the ground by crane and then paved around. These pools are also warm as heat retention is good, however the chemical retention is not as efficient as a liner pool. Fibreglass pools can become discoloured.

Concrete pools with painted walls can contract blackspot which is a discolouring of the pool wall. This is due to damp coming through the concrete and is difficult to rectify. These pools are not as warm as other pools and do cost more to run.

Pool pumps, chlorinators & skimmer boxes need to be checked by an expert if you are unsure. However if you can see the water is flowing in & out of the pool with no unusual noises and the motor does not sound loud, then you can assume that the pool has been in use. Pool water quality is very important and it must be checked for its chemical balance at a pool shop before you start swimming, as it can be a health risk. Some skimmer boxes are now illegal and are not allowed to be fitted to new pools, existing pools fitted with these boxes can be adapted to comply with safety requirements but this is not law.

 

REIWA website is a good source of information for house hunting, however the site is not always up to date. The Sunday Times, The West Australian and The Homebuyer Newspapers advertise the current available property. We do have a Real Estate agent who will advise you on the types and locations of property suitable to your requirements.

 

 

Placing an offer. The offer is written on a real estate contract by your real estate agent and is a binding contract. At this point having expert advice is advisable as you may need to specify any additional clauses; for instance there might be some costly issues with the swimming pool or air conditioner that need to be inspected by an expert and fixed at the vendors cost. If the vendor accepts the offer/contract you are then legally bound to go ahead and purchase the property. This contract is still subject to a Termite Inspection (white ant report) and any other additional clauses written on the contract at the point of signing. A final inspection is required as you need to know if everything is in working order (plumbing, electric, gas)as close to the moving in date as possible. A settlement/ completion date is required when you sign the offer/contract so planning your rental accommodation is vital as you might need to extend the period.

Deposit

 

 

is required and forms part of the contract and is usually between $1K-$5K. The deposit is held in the trust account of the real estate agent and is deducted from the final purchase price. This deposit is taken a few days after the offer has been accepted and can paid by either cheque or cash.

Building Surveys in WA are not usually carried out by Banks, as the houses are not as old as in Europe. This might seem risky but generally the houses are detached and built on sand which has limited movement, therefore land heave and other considerations are not seen to be as important. However you can pay for a survey for peace of mind and the bank may require an independent valuation if they consider it necessary for mortgage approval.

Insurance is required for mortgage holders and contents insurance is highly recommended. Check the links page.

Completion Date will be agreed on the original offer. You will then be informed by the bank, settlement and both real estate agents of the various signings, inspections and financial details. Remember you have signed a legal and binding contract.

Australian Property. Some areas to be aware of when inspecting property.

Electricity in Australia is generally not 3 phase, this can cause some problems with some modern electrical appliances as they do consume excessive amount of power and cause power surges tripping the fuse. Not all houses have trip switches, they have the old porcelain fuse wire holders which can cause problems to replace in the dark. The fitting of all electrical wiring & fuse systems has to be carried out by a registered electrician, no DIY.

Water systems are different depending on location. Some properties require a septic tank to be emptied as the sewer is not connected. The majority of properties have their sewerage and mains water supply connected. The supply is monitored by a water meter and billed by the kilolitre. Many properties have a Reticulation system which is a pipe network running throughout the garden areas to allow automated watering of gardens. The use of the retic is limited during summer months. The heating of water is done by either an outside electric or gas water tank, some houses have solar powered hot water, or an electric/gas usage only heater, heating only what you need

Gas systems are not always in every property as the cooker can be electric and there is no gas central heating system in the majority of homes. Lately home owners have been upgrading properties, putting in gas with a gas fire in the lounge in the form of a bayonet or fixed fire. The fitting of all gas appliances has to be carried out by a registered gas fitter no DIY. It never gets frosty in WA but you do need some form of warmth from July to September.

Telephone system is usually already installed using a different system to Europe. UK telephones & fax machines will not work.

Cable/Foxtel(Sky) systems are widespread throughout Perth and can be fed to the property using underground cable or the satellite dish. The majority of suburbs have cable which can be detected by the grey box on the side of the property allowing the usual prepaid TV products.

 

Home Loans

 

Purchase Procedure

Buying property in Australia is different from the U.K . You do not have to visit all of the various real estate offices to find out what is on the market. You can contact a local real estate agent to find and organise the purchase of the property. Your real estate agent will be able to provide you with a list of all available properties in the desired locations and within your price range . Your agent will then organise viewings, either privately or at ‘home opens’ (public viewings, usually at weekends). Your agent will then present any offers to the vendor and negotiate on your behalf. This takes the stress and worry out of the legalities as there are binding contracts to be signed.

The Property & Land Purchase System (WA Only)

The following bodies are involved in a house or land purchase.

Vendor– The person selling the property.

Real Estate Agent – Employed by the vendor to sell the property, charging between 3-4% of the sale price for the service.

Settlement Agent- Employed by the Vendor and Purchaser to complete the sale and conform to all of the legal requirements. Cost varies depending on the purchase price.

Termite Inspector- All properties in WA must be inspected for termites, at a cost to the purchaser. The cost is around $120. If activity should be found the vendor is liable for the eradication of the infected area, at a cost to themselves. Be aware of railway sleepers.

Bank- If you are a migrant you have to prove that you can afford to repay a mortgage. The bank may require evidence of pay slips (3-6 months) from your employer.

Visa Variations
If you hold a retirement or business visa you can purchase property subject to foreign investment review board approval. http://www.firb.gov.au

Other Costs

The following additional costs are charged by your settlement agent on your behalf and will included in the balance of your purchase. Prices change for each service so check with your agent for the up to date costs.

Transfer Registration Fee- To  WA Land Administration.

Certificate of Title- To the WA Land Administration.

Searches-  To the Local Shire(council) & the WA Land Administration

Stamp Duty % of the purchase price. Some lower priced properties are exempt from this duty.

Stamp Duty, Registration & Establishment Fees on the mortgage if needed.

Water & Shire rates (council tax) for the remainder of the year will be added to the balance payable.