Due Diligence Checklist

We understand the importance of helpful and accurate information when you’re considering purchasing a home or vacant residential land in Melbourne. As part of this process, conducting thorough due diligence is crucial to ensure a smooth and hassle-free buying experience.

To help you, we've compiled this checklist which aims to help you identify critical factors that may affect the property and your obligations as a buyer.

Urban Living: Living in high-density areas can be attractive, but it's essential to be aware of potential issues like increased traffic, noise, and odours from nearby businesses and residents. Familiarise yourself with the area's character and expectations.

Buying into an Owners Corporation: Some properties are part of an Owners' Corporation, leading to fees and restrictions, such as pet ownership bans. Review the Statement of advice and information for prospective purchasers and lot owners to understand your obligations.

Growth Areas: Check if the property is subject to growth areas' infrastructure contributions. Visit relevant government websites for more information.

Flood and Fire Risk: Assess the property's exposure to fire and flooding risks, considering implications for insurance, land management, and building safety. Government websites provide information on fire and flood risks in the area.

Rural Properties: For rural zones, investigate the compatibility of surrounding land use with your lifestyle expectations. Understand regulations on native vegetation removal, weed and pest management, and building new dwellings. Verify if the property adjoins crown land or contains government roads.

Earth Resource Activity: Explore any exploration, mining, or quarrying activity near the property. Check relevant government websites for details.

Soil and Groundwater Contamination: Determine if past activities may have caused contamination on the site, impacting land use. Refer to government resources for information on audited contaminated sites and identifying potentially contaminated land.

Land Boundaries: Ensure that measurements on the title document match actual fences and buildings. Seek professional assistance if needed.

Planning Controls: Understand the local planning scheme, zoning, overlays, and encumbrances that may affect land use and development. Consult the local council and review the section 32 statement for details.

Safety: Assess building safety, electrical issues, pool or spa fencing, asbestos, and termites. Visit relevant government websites for guidance.

Building Permits: Research laws and regulations regarding building construction and retaining walls. Check for permits issued for recent works and consult professionals as needed.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage: Determine if a cultural heritage management plan is required for proposed activities. Seek assistance from Aboriginal Victoria if necessary.

Insurance Cover: Enquire about insurance coverage for recent building or renovation works. Visit relevant government websites for details.

Connections for Utilities: Check if water, sewerage, electricity, gas, telephone, and internet services are available and the associated costs.

Buyers' Rights: When purchasing a property, it's crucial to familiarise yourself with the contract of sale and the section 32 statement. To avoid any misunderstandings, it's recommended that you carefully review these documents. Many individuals choose to enlist the help of a lawyer or conveyancer to navigate these contracts and ensure a successful sale. If you're considering hiring a professional, it's wise to consult with them before making any commitments. Additionally, there are specific regulations surrounding private sales and auctions, such as cooling-off periods and rights for "off-the-plan" sales. Remember that as the buyer, you hold certain rights. By taking these steps, you can ensure a smooth and informed sale process.

By utilising this due diligence checklist, you can make well-informed decisions when purchasing a property– but remember, this is a starting point, and seeking professional advice is essential to completely understand the property's nuances. Empower yourself with knowledge and ensure a successful property-buying journey. Happy house hunting!

If you're interested in learning more, Consumer Affairs Victoria is a great resource for finding links to organisations and web pages that can assist you.

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