Always do the work

It is a pain to do my own due diligence and check facts and legislation.  It's easier in the short term to spend $1000 to get financial advice and legal advice, and complain that "I didn't know" when lack of due diligence and asking questions ends in disaster, and potential financial ruin. of due diligence:

There are times to spend money on legal advice.  I am a fan of lawyers because one, a very expensive and experienced one, saved me a lot of pain and helped me get a little money back.  He also helped me get my possessions back.  Sometimes I wonder whether I should have left them and done an ultimate de-clutter.  I must have really valued some of the things at the time.

Even if you hire a lawyer and get financial advice, I always do what I can before I spend money on them.  Why pay someone to do something I can do myself with a little effort and time?  It does sometimes add to my stress levels, but it's always worth it.  Too often people get advice, something happens, and they are still left with the damages rather than the person offering the advice.

This morning after about few hours of internet searching, two cups of coffee, and information digging, I was able to find out what a conveyancing service would have charged me for.  I fear the level of advice may have lacked critical information though which strongly informed my decision to not pursue the property purchase.

I found a map of the area I was looking at, and read the relevant planning legislation (which has only just come into effect) which helped me in the decision making process and understanding relevant risks.

Today, I discovered:

  • To the best of my knowledge there is no cooling off time in Tasmania for property purchases so it pays to seek good legal advice and do due diligence (according to Wise Move Conveyancing's website - accessed 14/8/16).
  • It is worth looking at the local council planning legislation and ideals.  This link may be helpful for Tasmanians, and check your local councils website:
  • Councils may have interactive maps which show risk associated with a property you are interested in, and can be accessed for free via the internet.  Alternatively, you can get paper copies from council offices.  Most councils now have this service online.
  •  Understanding insurance history for an area, and general insurance history more broadly is worth it.
  • Checking current legal fees and stamp duty helps to inform your budget
  • Googling an address should bring up any recent deaths relevant to the property and will inform you as to whether a property is a deceased estate.  I am not impressed by the evasion I received from an agent when I asked if it was a deceased estate.  I was told it was not a deceased estate.  An internet search suggests it was a deceased estate.  The property appears to have been transferred twelve months ago due to a spouse's death.  I call that a deceased estate as there have been improvements that were likely made to sell the property and may have take twelve months to complete/ pay for.  People forget that I can find out if I am determined enough as these things are on the public record and have never been so easy to find.
  • Doing an internet search on a specific property and then the street more broadly is well worth it.  It will help inform your decision and risks in the area.
  • Properties with high risk of flooding, land-slips and bush-fire are unlikely to be approved for rebuilding in the event of a natural disaster or house fire.  Insurance companies may not pay for those properties in future either.
After all the research I have done, I still like the area but I now have a more comprehensive understanding of the risks and benefits and can make better decisions in the future.  This also means that I can save time by checking property risks before going to look at open homes.  This will also save me petrol.  Unfortunately, sometimes the best decision of all involves persistent searching and patience.  I'm not such a fan but I am confident it will be worth it.  My searches also inform which properties are worth looking at.

$1000 not spent by doing my own due diligence.  More money saved by not buying a high risk property.  Lessons learnt = invaluable.

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