If you live in Australia, then surely you'll have come to realise how much of a joke our property market is.
Between low interest rates and sky-rocketing house prices, as well as managing repayments — that's if you're even able to get your foot in the door — the Australian dream of owning a property is becoming harder to navigate on your own.
It's why it can be so useful to talk to friends, relatives, colleagues and even strangers on the internet who have gone through this process. In fact, u/mazsks asked the Reddit community: "Homeowners of Australia, what's one thing you wish you knew before buying your own house?"
The thread resulted in some useful tips and advice to consider, so here are some of the best responses that will hopefully help guide those looking to buy a home in Australia.
1. "That I didn't have to put up with the arseholes I bought off leaving a big pile of rubbish in the backyard and the house in a filthy state (I could have delayed settlement until they cleaned it up)."
"Yeah, I would take photos and video at the initial inspection and pre-settlement inspection. My seller had a friend remove fittings and cause damage after my pre-settlement inspection."
2. "How much effort, time and money it costs just to run a standard four-bedroom house living in the suburbs.
"I don't think it’s just a four-bedroom house in the 'burbs. Houses cost money. Like, there’s always something to spend money on. Sometimes it's a lot of money; sometimes it's not so much, but there is always something to spend money on — whether it be painting, plumbing, electrics, fences, plants, new furniture, new decorations and replacement stuff. It’s kind of never-ending."
6. "Don't buy west facing [homes or apartments]. Double check the orientation on maps and also compass during the inspection. Also, when real estate ads mention orientation, half the time they get it wrong as they will often use the letter box as the reference point and not the living areas."
"[West facing homes and apartments result in] afternoon sun blasting into the living areas, making it hot as balls."
7. "I wish I knew the depth of the foundations of my house. When I tried to put a pool in, it was too late."
8. "If you have a garden and no tools, go to local garage sales to pick up some up."
9. "How much I underestimated the cost of maintenance and renovations and how much I overestimated my ability to self-perform."
11. "Building inspectors do nothing. If something looks even slightly wrong, walk away. It's always worse than you expect."
"The mandatory building inspection by a licensed building inspector is a scam. Often 20+ pages, full of errors/lies, and the last 14 pages are basically T&Cs that say the inspector can't be held responsible for what's in the report."
12. "Corner blocks are an absolute bitch to maintain. They cost a fortune, and depending on how strict your council is, you can't actually do anything useful with them."
13. "Make sure everything in the house is working. Air con, stove, fans, lights, power points, hot water and the watering system. Check if there's rusty screws in the roofing iron, gaps in cladding or flashing. Cracks in the plaster might show that the foundations are moving."
14. "However confident you are going into an auction, just remember there's a boomer with millions to burn just waiting quietly for you to reach your limit, then they jump in and pounce."
15. "When a real estate agent gives a 'price guide' for an auction, that's where they will start the bidding. Price guides are the biggest lump of horse shit ever."
16. "Neighbouring properties can have huge invasive trees and vines. Some trees so big that to prevent them damaging my property it would cost me $600 a year to get them cut back — and that this would be my responsibility."
17. "Look out for townhouses and neighbouring walls — noisy neighbours are fucking annoying."
19. And lastly, "There's no such thing as the perfect house. It doesn't matter if it's 150 years old or brand new — from the day you move in, you'll become aware of things you need to spend time and money on."
Some Reddit submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.