Are you looking to make a lifestyle change and leave city life behind? More people are moving away from Melbourne and heading to the fresh air in Gippsland. The ability to work from home has been beneficial in allowing individuals to relocate. The hybrid work revolution has meant people can pack up their small apartments and find somewhere with more space for the family.
So, are you thinking of buying real estate in Gippsland? If so, we’ve got some tips for buying locally and some considerations around planning issues.
Why Buy In Gippsland?
Gippsland is the home to many, with a steadily growing population. Pristine beaches, beautiful mountains and a short drive from historical mining towns like Walhalla and Korumburra, Gippsland is the ideal location. It’s the perfect escape from the city without being too remote.
The region is surrounded by several national parks including Tarra Bulga, Baw Baw and Wilsons Promontory. Close to the water, enjoy the Bunurong Coastal Drive, stopping in at Inverloch and Cape Paterson on the way. Each town offers rural living, with some set for development.
Areas for development
Other towns in Gippsland are changing, with residential estates under way or just getting started. New housing developments such as Crownlea in Warragul are popping up frequently. Parklands in Wonthaggi and The Range in Trafalgar are just some of the areas being developed.
From Lakes Entrance to Traralgon and right on through to Cowes, there are a variety of development areas you can consider for affordable country living.
It’s important when looking to move into a housing estate, you understand the restrictions the block may have. Things such as easements and building envelopes may be registered on the title, meaning you may not be able to build the home you envisioned. Other conditions on the building may need to be met, which new estates regularly impose by way of design guidelines restricting roof colours, design and fencing types.
If you are looking at purchasing an acre block or more, you will want to do your research. Lots in rural areas will generally come with their own unique restrictions depending on zoning and land size. For example, construction of a dwelling on land allocated for farming may require a planning permit – which may add cost and delay to your project. It’s important to ensure you know how your property is zoned and the impacts on your intended use of the land.
Tips For Purchasing Real Estate In Gippsland
While you may be eager to make a fresh start in a new home, there are many considerations to make before committing to a purchase. From understanding your borrowing capacity to having vendors’ statements reviewed, these are all points to consider to save you heartache later on.
Understand Your Borrowing Situation
You’ll want to ensure that all your finances are ready to go and that your borrowing capacity is set. People often rely on online market calculators and when it’s time to put in an offer, you don’t have the money in time or your loan is less than you had budgeted. This is where the pre-approval process is the most important part.
Speak with an experienced lender/broker before you start the hunt, especially before signing anything. It will give you a better indication of your borrowing capacity and help to avoid disappointment.
There are often different stages of the lending approval process: pre-approval, conditional approval and unconditional approval. It’s important to clearly understand them. Pre-approval is your starting point to allow the bank to assess the lending amount. It means you can have some level of certainty around your borrowing amount.
Do Your Research
Before committing to any type of sale, it’s recommended you do your research. It’s important to inspect the area you plan to move to and ask questions about the area. Joining local community pages can often give you insight into local matters too, especially areas like Drouin, Yarragon and Morwell. Some areas in Gippsland are well spread out, making commutes longer than in other regional areas of Victoria. Factor this in when looking at local schools and possible places of work if remote options are unavailable.
Furthermore, we encourage you to ask questions about any property you are buying. Raise any queries with the real estate agent and make notes of what answers you are given, so you can go back and do your own research or check what you have been told against the vendor’s statement. When buying an existing house, make a list of all the extras included in the property and ensure they are working. This often includes furniture or appliances such as air conditioning to ensure they are included in the sales contract.
Get Contract Advice
You should always have your contract reviewed by a professional before signing, even if you believe everything has been correctly documented. This will ensure that the contract reflects what was agreed upon with the vendor, any special conditions are properly drafted and that any unfair terms can be negotiated out. Sometimes you may verbally agree with the vendor and when it comes time to move in, the agreement is not honoured as it wasn’t made legally binding as part of the written contract.
This is extremely important for ‘off-the-plan‘ purchases as they are often complex and one-sided. Understanding what additional costs and risks are involved will help you decide whether to commit to the purchase or not. A professional will be able to give you an estimate on additional expenses to ensure you aren’t left with any hidden surprises.
Check The Vendors Statement
Many clients get caught up in the excitement of moving into a new home, especially a new area. Their eagerness to sign the paperwork can often be a downfall, as they tend to overlook the vendor’s statement. The vendor statement – also known as a ‘Section 32’ – contains a range of important information about a property.
Critical information about easements and zoning can be found within these documents. So if you had plans to develop the land, you need to read them carefully as the property may have restrictions imposed on it. Additional information such as outgoings and title instruments will be found within this statement. In some instances, once the contract is signed, there is no cooling-off period, so it’s best to have a professional review the documents before signing.
Arrange Building & Pest Reports
Once you’ve found a moment to catch your breath, it’s the perfect time to organise a building inspection and pest report. This is where you may find some critical information that was missing from the vendor statement that could impact your decision to purchase. Termite damage is not covered under insurance policy in Australia, so if the damage is evident, you may wish to pull out of the transaction.
Should this be the case, you will want a legal professional on your side. By ensuring that the contract is conditional upon satisfactory building and pest report, you’ll be in the best position possible. It’s the safest way for you to opt-out of the sale, with minimal risk and fees.
Get Professional Help
The overall process of buying a new home can be overwhelming. It’s easy to miss areas that can cause you difficulties later on if due diligence was not met. Our final takeaway from this is to ensure you get professional help when buying in Gippsland. From conveyancing solicitors to working with planners, surveyors and the local council, you will want to have professional help.
Should you require any conveyancing legal assistance, our team will be happy to assist you. We look forward to welcoming you to your new home in Gippsland.