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Buying-a-house checklist: A complete guide for new buyers

It's important to know what you need when searching for a home. This checklist highlights what you should be looking for in terms of location and amenities.

Buying House Checklist

Article summary

  • Try and find a home that’s close to hospitals, police and other essential services.
  • The convenience that comes with being near shops and sporting facilities is invaluable.
  • Proximity to major highways and public transport is key.

Buying a home is a significant investment, financial and personally. So you want to make sure the home meets all your requirements. This includes the proximity of the location to important services, and the amenities that the location offers.

Knowing what you need: Checklist for buying a house

To ensure the home meets all your requirements, it helps to have a guide. In this case, that guide comes in the form of a checklist. Here are the top 7 factors you should be looking at.

1. Schools

If you’re a first-time buyer with or without a family, schools should be at the top of your priority list when choosing a location for your new home.

There are clear advantages for those with children, for example, saving on travel time on the school run. For those without, homes near schools are considered more valuable.

This bodes well for resale prospects. If the home will be rented out, you’ll never be short of eager tenants looking for the same benefits.

2. Medical facilities

There’s a major convenience factor to having a dentist or doctor, or both, in the neighbourhood. If there’s a medical clinic or hospital, even better.

3. Supermarkets and shops

When you are in a hurry to get groceries, you don’t want to drive far just to buy a carton of milk or fresh bread. Saving on travel time and costs, in addition to the convenience of having what you need nearby, promises enormous benefits.

4. Sports facilities, clubs and gyms

As more and more people embrace the quest for a healthier lifestyle, the proximity of exercise facilities gains importance.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a gym although that would be a bonus for some – it could be a small park with outdoor fitness facilities, a walking or jogging track, and of course recreational areas for children and adults alike.

5. Highway access

Those who have their own transport will be keen to be close to their place of work. Homes located within easy access of highways are considered more attractive from a buyer’s perspective.

6. Public transport

For those who favour using public transport facilities such as buses, trains and taxis, access to these will be important.

Public transport is often a more efficient and cost-effective mode of travel, even for those who have their own vehicles. Those who don’t have their own vehicles or don’t need to use them for work during the day will look to buy homes that are close to public transport facilities.

7. Gated community

Gated communities have become more popular in recent times as people seek additional security. The work-from-home lifestyle resulting from the COVID pandemic is also more tolerable in gated communities due to the safe outdoor spaces.

8. Access to fibre

The Internet is like electricity these days, you just can’t imagine life without it. Fibre access is becoming available in more areas as companies continue to roll it out. Make sure your new home is in an area where access to fibre is present and, hopefully, easily accessible.

9. Stay-at-home friendly

The COVID pandemic has forced many to work from home, and you’ll need to take this into account when assessing the environment of a new home. You’ll want to try to find one with lots of space, and hopefully a garden, so you can take a break from the indoor lifestyle every now and then.

When you’re done with the house hunt…

When you’ve found a home that ticks all the boxes, and you want to apply for a home loan, ooba Home Loans offers a range of tools that can make the home buying process easier. Start with our Bond Calculator, then use our Bond Indicator to determine what you can afford. Finally, when you’re ready, you can apply for a home loan.

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