It’s one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Buying a house or property can be fraught with pitfalls. Here are some tips to help make the process easier.

Do your homework. Get on the internet and do some research. Are you familiar with the requirements of Council, the Building Code of Australia and the new Building Sustainability Index (BASIX)? Check out www.greenhouse.gov.au/yourhome; an excellent website with some great tips on designing and renovating homes to be comfortable, healthy and environmentally sustainable.

Don’t buy without professional advice. Most architects will provide a service to come out to the property with you and assist you in your decision making. A professional eye will spot things that your untrained eye wouldn’t, potentially saving you costly mistakes.

Don’t assume the feasibility of what you’ve got in mind for the property. An architect can advise you of whether or not it is possible to remove that wall or add on to that side of the house. Again, the architect can help you avoid costly errors in judgment.

Do ask smart questions. A building inspection report is a must when you decide you want to buy, but on your first walk-through ask about the electrical system, plumbing, any visible cracks or any other fault that is immediately apparent. A soil-like smell can indicate drainage problems, for example.

Don’t be pressured. “You’d better put in an offer right away. Someone else will snap it up soon.” This is the oldest line on the book. Take your time to make an intelligent choice. If you miss out, it wasn’t meant to be.

Don’t let emotions into the decision. It is important to stay as impartial as you can. It is easy to be carried away with excitement when you think you’ve found the home of your dreams, but the coldly practical must be kept to the forefront so that your emotions don’t cloud your judgment.

Don’t give up. Follow up on the property that already displays a “Sold” sign. Who knows? The sale may fall through leaving you in the drivers seat.

Do close the deal in a smart way. Keep your cool. Showing your excitement can translate into a higher price. Always bargain on the price; this is expected, particularly if the property has been on the market for a long period of time. secure web login If you don’t ask, you won’t get!

Do spend on the important stuff. Once you have purchased the house, spend money on things that will add value to your home, such as nice flooring and good heating.

Don’t spend on the unimportant stuff. Tiles, shower roses, taps and appliances will all have affordable brands that look just as good as the more expensive imported brands.

Once you have purchased the new home or property, choose an architect carefully. Someone you can work with happily will make the renovation or building process a joy, helping you to realize your dreams.