9 Townhouse Buying Tips You Need to Know

townhouse buying tips

Have you wondered about what exactly are the top townhouse-buying tips?

Well, wonder no longer. Because in this helpful article, we’ll share them.

It’s an exciting time when you buy a townhouse, as most large purchases tend to be.

Cars, houses, boats, holidays – all big-ticket items require forethought, consideration, planning, and knowledge. You need to know what to ask. And you know to know what project marketing is.

After all, why would you rush into a purchase that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars?  And one likely to result in a few decades of deb?

So, that’s why it pays to be prepared, be ready and know everything there is to know.

By the end of this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about getting ready to buy a townhouse.

So, read on to discover more.

1. What’s Your Budget?

budget buying tips

When considering townhouse buying tips the very first thing that you need to determine is your budget.

There’s no point looking in certain areas or for certain types of townhouses if you’re already priced out.

Your budget should comprise your deposit and either the amount a lender will loan you or the ready savings you have.

For instance, you may have a deposit of $80,000 or so and finance pre-approval for $700,000. That makes your top purchase price $780,000

If you’re getting ready to buy a townhouse, you should have a clear idea of your budget.

This is especially important if you plan on buying at an auction. Auctions are competitive, and you don’t want to go over your absolute limit. Otherwise, you may be locked into a purchase you can’t afford.

So, know your budget – and be prepared to stick to it. And know the auction settlement terms.

This may mean compromising on things such as a preferred suburb or a preferred type of townhouse.

But, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer, cracking into the market is more important than what you think you want in a home. Compromise can be the name of the game when buying real estate.

Hot tip: Learn about negative gearing.

2. Home and Pest Inspection

inspection tips

Before putting in an offer or bidding at an auction, you’ll want to arrange a home and pest inspection.

You may even make your offer contingent on the outcome of a pest and building inspection.

You want these inspections because you do not want to buy a property that has significant issues or a pest infestation.

For instance, a structural issue with a townhouse due to flawed foundations can be costly to repair.

A major slab repair can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

If a pre-purchase inspection picks this up, you might be out a few hundred dollars for the inspection, but you’ve saved yourself a considerable amount of money and a significant stress load.

The same applies to pests. While rodents, ants and spiders are treatable, termites are a severe problem.

So, bite the bullet and arrange these inspections.

3. Location, Location

Location is critical when buying any house.

As per our above tip, you may be priced out of certain suburbs.

This is fine, because a different suburb may be the perfect place for you to live. But it pays to do your research on the location.

You’ll want to look for specific amenities, and preferably, they will be within a walk or a short drive away.

Locations like childcare, kinders, schools, shops and parks are all worth investigating. Google Maps is your friend here; just have a scan of the area.

In addition, you’ll also need to consider your commute to your workplace – again, check this out on Google Maps. A good hint is to make sure to use the journey prediction on peak times, so you get a realistic idea of the travel time between home and work, going both ways.

Hopefully, you can snag a townhouse that is in a suitable and practical location for your needs.

4. How New is the Property?

Another thing to consider is when the property was built. Make sure you ask this of the real estate sales agent.

The reason you want to do this is to determine the depreciation of the home.

For instance, certain parts of a home need replacement every five to ten years. These are usually things like carpets, climate control appliances and a fresh coat of paint.

If the townhouse you are interested in is only a few years old, you know you’ve got these things coming up and can save money and prepare.

If you’re interested in an older townhouse, you’ll be forearmed with the knowledge that you may have to look after these issues.

5. Owner’s Corporation Fees

It’s also worth checking if the townhouse is part of strata, or owner’s corporation, in terms of management of the common areas, insurance, groundskeeping and more.

The reason for this is that there are quarterly fees due to the company that manages this, and these can be into the multiple hundreds a quarter.

Typically, if an owner’s corporation covers home insurance, it is worth the money, equal to what you would pay an insurance company anyway.

However, if you need to ensure your property and pay these fees, you might be looking at a hefty sum each year.

So, enquire about this, and learn what the fees are. Forewarned = forearmed.

6. Storage Space

Another thing often left off your typical townhouse buying tips list is storage space. When inspecting dual occupancy houses for sale, you want to check the storage space offered.

Some townhouses are notorious for not offering ample storage space.

As these properties are smaller than houses, you can expect less storage space, as living in a townhouse means being more mindful of amassing material objects.

However, some townhouses are superior to others in terms of storage space.

Furthermore, if the home you’re inspecting doesn’t have ample storage space, you could look elsewhere or get creative if you plan to buy it.

Some hacks we’ve seen savvy townhouse owners create for storage space include gas lift beds, cube storage, garage conversions and custom-made cabinets.

7. Garage and Car Spaces

Another tip to share is related to parking spaces.

Most townhouses have a garage, but some are single, and some are double. Single tends to be more common.

In addition to a garage, some townhouses also have a drive space or a car park space.

If you are a two or multiple-car family, you need to consider this.

You can’t always guarantee the availability of street parking

Consider your parking needs when townhouse shopping.

8 Auction? Try an Offer Before Bidding

Interested in a townhouse up for auction? You can always ask the real estate agent if the owner would consider pre-auction offers.

This way, you can avoid the stress and uncertainty of an auction and potentially get a great deal.

Not all vendors will accept, as they want a big payday.

However, some vendors may accept a pre-auction offer, so it’s worth asking anyway.

9. Off the Plan?

off plan buying tips

Buying an off the plan townhouse can be a great way to get a good deal on the house and guarantee a brand-new home to move into.

When buying off the plan, you want to have the contract reviewed by a legal professional to ensure you understand what you are signing and getting into.

It can also be tricky to imagine the home, so you’ll need to pay close attention to the rendered design mockups and try to visit a display property if you get the chance.

But, if you buy from a reputable property developer, buying off the plan can be a great way to snare a fantastic home that is brand new.

And there’s nothing quite like walking into a brand-new home that’s all yours.

Side note – if you’re selling, ensure you are all over the benefits of quality property photography and what market value means in real estate terms.

Townhouse Buying Conclusion

In this helpful article, we’ve shared nine townhouse-buying tips that you need to know. If you are wondering if you should buy a townhouse or not, click here.

From considering a location to knowing your budget and what to look for when inspecting townhouses, by now, you’re a purchasing expert.

As a bonus tip, check out these articles on how to use equity as a deposit and the difference between principal and interest vs. interest only.

peter new profile

To put it mildly, Peter Kelly is enthusiastic about real estate. When he’s not looking at properties, or visiting potential sites, Peter can be found online at realestate. com. For him, it’s more than a job – it’s an obsession. Peter is a co-founder here at Little Fish Real Estate.