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Buying a House
Last updated 10:46 pm, Tuesday 5th April 2011
When your buying a house it can be a stressful and difficult process, we offer some advice on how to approach this and how to assess a property and determine if it is good for you and the environment.
1) Get Preapproved for a Loan

Before you can look into buying a property, you need to assess how much you are able to spend. So obtain a copy of your credit report and your credit score and, if necessary, see what you need to do to improve it. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rate you can obtain. We suggest you contact several lenders and determine which one will give you the best deal.

2) Whats Your Price Range and the Area(s) in Which Interest You

Now you know how much you can afford to spend on buying your home, you can use this to reduce your home search areas, there will be neighborhoods for sure that are outside of your budget. Also make a hit list of things you want in your neighborhood or don't want in your neighborhood; for instance do you need to be close to public transport? Do you need good access to schools? Do you want to be away from power lines and industrial units? Also work out the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms that you require.

With the above information you should be able to go onto an online property listings site and quickly get down to a hit list of properties that are in your price range and have amenities and features you are looking for.

3) Begin Seriously Looking at Homes

You will need to bite the bullet and start visiting properties that interest you and see directly if they suit your needs. Basically phone the agent and make an appointment to visit the property.

4) Keeping all the facts together

Its usually at this time that you will find its difficult to keep in your head the differences and pros/cons of each of the properties you will visit. After a while it all sort of blurs together..  This is bad news, as you will get stressed and find it difficult to make objective decisions and comparisons. Remember this is probably the biggest & longest financial commitment you will make, so you need to have a clear head...

Help is at hand, we have developed an app called 'Property Assess' for the Android that aims to keep you firmly in control of the property hunt and operating with a level head and facts to hand all the time...

Property Assess, a property organizer in your pocket

How does Property Assess help? Well its a bit like a personal property organizer in your pocket; basically you either enter or import details of properties your interested in into it and it takes care of keeping everything organized. For each property you enter the address, price range and agent contact details. Then you can phone the agent from the app and set an appointment, which you enter into Property Assess (it will remind you when the appointment is due). Then when you visit the property you can rate each room, take photos, take voice phones or enter comments.

Property Assess even has a built in mortgage calculator with service costs, so you can see exactly what would be your outgoings per month.

The beauty with Property Assess on your phone is that you can then easily look through the properties and 'weigh' one property against another. To help with this there is a master rating per property so you can literally give a thumbs up or thumbs down to each property and quickly see that in the master list.

How much does Property Assess cost? Well a lot less than you would think; for less than the cost of a DVD you can have all this functionality assisting you with your property buying. We think this is excellent value for money and should more than pay for itself in reduced stress and giving you a clear head.

If you want to buy Property Assess or learn more click here.

Assessing a Property for its energy efficiency and environmental impact
Usually for the home owner this comes down to the following points of consideration:
  • Level of insulation provided in the fabric of the building. The building should have high R rated walls, floors and ceilings. This will allow it to maintain easier (i.e. cheaper) a comfortable temperature largely independent of what the temperature is outside. Look for features like insulation within the walls, insulation in the roof space, special window glass with a low U rating, draft excluder's on doors and windows.
  • Building orientation. A building whose principal axis is East-West with the communal rooms on the side towards the Sun and the bedrooms and utilities rooms on the side away from the Sun will have cheaper heating costs.
  • Passive Solar features. Basically the use of windows and eves on the side of the house towards the Sun to capture Winter Sun yet block out the Summer Sun.
  • Solar hot water heating system. These can dramatically reduce energy costs.
  • Sun Lizards. Basically an air heat exchanger on the roof used in Winter to heat the air in the house.

Related Tags: property, building, inspection, buying, renting, real estate

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