• Assessing a property


    In this video, a first home buyers couple are given tips by architect Cameron Frazer for assessing a property and what to look for during this process.


    Hi Lauren, Tom.  I'm Cameron.  So you're gonna fit in this house yeah?

    Should we go inside and have a look around?

    So we've been looking properly for about two or three months.  We don't mind if it's a bit of a you know fixer-upper, given that we want to be quite close to the city and we know that we're on quite a tight budget.

    Now you're a carpenter Tom.  One of the things you could do with this house is you could look to extend out the back, off what is now the kitchen and start to open up at into the back to get some of that light and sun, which is fairly valuable from the living/habitable parts of the house.

    So how much would it cost to actually replace the bench tops and the cupboards?

    You can start as low as a couple of hundred dollars for a benchtop.  You could use found materials for a benchtop and create a fantastic bench top, all the way up to a complete rebuild of the kitchen which could be ten, twelve, fifteen thousand dollars.

    Cracks in walls and stuff - how concerned should we be about that stuff?

    Really small crack - that's almost just cosmetic.  That sort of crack you know is just indicative of the fact that the house has moved a little bit.  I suspect without having been under your floor, it probably needs re-stumping,  to bring it up to level.  

    So one of the things that's always worth doing is getting a pest inspection by a registered qualified pest inspector.  They'll go under the house, they'll go up in the roof, they'll go around tapping all the timber checking for indications, particularly termites.

    We liked how big this backyard is.  It's a terrific size backyard.  Have you thought about the orientation of the house - where the sun is, where it moves?

    No, so with this property, the front of the house faces north.  A general rule of thumb is with a house you would normally put the bedrooms, the bathrooms, laundries on the east side of the house, okay and you put the living spaces on the west side, or the sunny side of the street.

    It was really good to learn from Cameron about orientation because that's something that I haven't thought of at all when we've been looking and it seems like it's a big thing that we've totally missed.

    This one's pretty high up and our list, definitely be looking to bid at the auction.  

    We see a lot of scope in this place, absolutely possibilities are endless for first-home buyers like Tom and Lauren.  This house is a terrific opportunity, it's a weatherboard, it gives them flexibility they get a foothold in the property market with long-term opportunities to build a dream home for themselves.

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    About the author

    • Cameron Frazer

      Cameron Frazer from Archicentre is on hand to help avoid thousands of dollars on costly repairs that can turn that dream home into a nightmare. As our resident architect, Cameron, will show buyers what to look for and the questions to ask when purchasing a property, and how to get the right professional help for your renovation or building project.

      With over 20 years of experience in design, construction, project management and sustainability, Cameron has led significant architectural projects in the private and public sectors. He will also look at how to assess a property, consider the potential renovation costs and how to best unlock future capital growth.

      Cameron Frazer

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  • Disclaimer:

    This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness of the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.