Moving to Adelaide and South Australia: Buying a Property Guide

The market in Adelaide is buoyant and it is important that you do your research very well. Identify suitable suburbs first and then see what other homes in the area have been achieving at sale. Chart recent sales noting special features, direction of property, local amenities, schools, transport and most importantly land size,. Perhaps of engaging a professional valuer who will research whether there is anything in planning which would reduce the value of your selected property as well as comparing data to indicate the value of the property. A registered valuer can be found on the database of the Valuers Registration Board or the Australian Property Institute. Very worth considering is a building inspection, pest inspection and for an apartment a strata records inspection.

You will need to arrange the necessary finance. Check whether you are entitled to a first home owner’s grant of up to $15,000.If your home is new or being constructed you may also be entitled to a Housing Construction Grant of up to $8,500. This is only for citizens or permanent residents. You should allow for 10% of the purchase price for the deposit which will be paid immediately after the auction or on exchange of contracts for private treaty. You will also need to allow for Land Tax, Stamp Duty and the Emergency Services Levy.

Auction is very popular in Adelaide although some vendors prefer private treaty. The auction process means you can see how the bidding is proceeding but remember there is no cooling off period as there is for a purchase privately. Once you have won the auction your acceptance is unconditional.. Before the auction ask the agent for the vendors statement and ask a solicitor to check this for you .You will need to register for the auction process by showing your ID to the real estate agent. You will be given a bidding number. As the commencement of the auction, the auctioneer will read the terms of the auction. The auctioneer may offer a vendor bid which is normally below the reserve price this is how he may commence the auction. If the auction fails to reach the reserve price yet you were the highest bidder you will then be able to negotiate with the agent. On winning the auction or successfully negotiating afterwards you will be asked to provide a deposit which can be paid by bank cheque or personal cheque . The deposit asked for will be 10%.

If you are choosing a home which is to be sold by private treaty then there is a different process. If you make an offer you will be asked to pay a $100 holding deposit and make your offer in writing. If accepted a contract of sale is drawn up and becomes a legally binding document when both you and the vendors sign the contract. You must then pay your deposit of 10% and you will then have a two business day cooling off period but you if you change your mind about buying the property then you will need to pay the vendor the holding deposit but the 10% deposit is returned to you. Deposits will be put in a trust account by an solicitor, agent or conveyancer acting for the vendor.

Settlement and moving day is usually between four to six weeks later and this is when you complete payment. Don’t forget to insure your property from this date.

Renting in Adelaide and South Australia

Unfurnished apartments
You would expect unfurnished apartments to have an oven, a cooking range (gas or electric), heating although this may be very basic in the cheaper apartments, bathroom with a shower but not necessarily a bath. Usually the apartments will have carpet or polished boards, curtains or blinds, light fittings, kitchen cupboards and benches and the more expensive apartments may have a dishwasher, car space or a garage. What also can make apartments more expensive is whether the apartment has a balcony, a view, how high up in the building it is, whether there is a gym and how good the location is especially taking into account proximity to transport.

In general there are few good one bedroom unfurnished apartments. There are also very few luxury unfurnished apartments available. Good rental accommodation in Adelaide is relatively hard to find as there is considerable demand.

Furnished two bedroom apartments are relatively hard to source. Again, rental accommodation is relatively expensive and the rental rates are going up at twice the inflation rate. Furnished apartments

There is a difference between furnished and Fully Furnished. Furnished properties may have only the bare necessities: oven, cooking range (gas or electric), fridge, washing machine, bed, sofa, table and chairs. A fully furnished property would also have cutlery, cooking utensils, bed linen, towels and all the items that you would expect to find in a serviced apartment. You would not need to buy anything in addition in order to live in the apartment and could come with only your suitcase.

Minimum lease term
The minimum time for which a furnished apartment is given for lease is three months but this is relatively rare. More acceptable is a six month lease. The minimum time that an unfurnished property is given for lease is six months but this also is highly unusual and such a lease term on application could severely reduce the chances of that application being accepted. The usual practice is to require you to sign a 12 month lease.

Cost incurred in case of lease breakage
If your lease agreement has not expired and you need to break your lease then you are liable for the rent until a new tenant is found. You may also be liable for a re-letting fee which is usually one or two weeks rent as well as advertising costs; you should check how the agent intends advertising the property and what costs will be incurred. It is the responsibility of the landlord to take reasonable action to re-let the vacant property.

Tenants do not pay brokerage in South Australia.

Additional monthly maintenance charges
There are no additional monthly maintenance fees to be paid by the tenant. The landlord is responsible for rates and building insurance.

Advance payment for a rental property
The standard amount payable to secure a rental property is two weeks rent in advance and a bond which is usually the equivalent of one calendar month’s rent or six weeks rent for a more expensive property. The bond is a security against damage.

When rent is payable
Rent is payable two weeks in advance.

The lease
You will be given two copies of the lease to sign. This explains the terms on which you are renting the property, the rent you must pay and the period of tenancy.

Condition report
When you move into your property you will be given a condition report in duplicate. Check this carefully and then sign both copies, keeping one for yourself and one should be returned to the agent or landlord within three working days. This will be the comparison which forms the basis for your refund of bond at the end of the tenancy.

Use the map by clicking on the buttonsbuttonmarking the various City Councils of Adelaide. You will then be given information about the various suburbs and facilities, local schools and transport. This should help you to pinpoint the areas you may want to focus on. If the maps dont work in your browser click here

Map of Adelaide - Information on South of Australia Unley Marion Mitcham Northwood Payneham and St Peters Adelaide Hills Burnside Holdfast Bay Adelaide City Charles Sturt West Torrens Prospect Port Adelaide Enfield

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