When looking for a property, you’ll have qualifying requirements in terms of number of living spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms, location and maybe orientation. You may have found the perfect properties that fit your criteria, yet you might still be stuck on which one is best for your needs. Take a deeper dive into the exact qualities that you and your family need and use the checklist to mark the most important features for you.
The Physical Qualities
Quality flooring – When we describe Oak floorboards or Oak look floors in our copy, it could be one of many things – solid timber boards, engineered boards, timber look tiled floors, hybrid boards and laminate boards. If you think of this order as the order of quality and price, you’ll know what will be long lasting, and what may need to be changed in a few years. If you want something high class, look for limestone or travertine tiled floors, polished concrete, epoxy floors and 100% Cavalier Bremworth wool carpets.
Ceiling heights – High ceilings give a greater sense of space to a room, although the downfall is it costs more to heat or cool. When a home has 2.7 metre high ceilings or more, you’ll appreciate the sense of space and quality it creates.
Designer features – Mosaic tiling, feature walls, spectacular voids, striking wallpapering, high end tapware etc. If we mention these finishes in the advertising material, or other unexpected finds, know that we are appealing to lovers of on trend sophistication.
Heating – Different forms include hydronic heating, ducted heating, panel heating and split system units. There could be underfloor heating too. The integrated heating systems can now be zoned, making them more energy efficient, so make sure you look for ‘zoned’ in your copy.
Cooling – Evaporative cooling, refrigerated cooling, ceiling fans, etc. While there has been a big impact of air conditioning systems in Melbourne homes in recent years, if you want a more naturally cooling home, take into account your orientation and building type to reduce energy costs.
Solar panels – if you work from home or spend a lot of time during the day at home, solar panels are a great way to use energy around the home without spending a cent. Solar panels with batteries are the new way to go, so you can store your energy for a cloudy day or night use. Either way, if they are there on the property, you’ll make some great energy savings.
Water tanks – In Melbourne, water tanks are designed to supply toilets, washing machines and irrigation systems. Some people remove their full capabilities, as they can leave the water with a brown tinge, that looks unsightly in a toilet or when washing clothes. If you buy a home with a lovely garden, make sure it’s got a water tank so you can keep it looking at its best.
Glazing – Commercial grade, double glazed and even triple glazed windows and doors are now becoming a regular sight in modern building practices, offering the ability to retain temperatures and effectively sound control.
Alarm systems – Great for giving people security and peace of mind.
Video intercom – Very popular in new developments, particularly apartments so you can visualise guests or delivery people reaching out to you.
CCTV – More a high-end form of security for those who like to feel safe in their surrounds when home when you need to spend a lot of time away from your property.
Home automation – automated blinds, skylights, doors, lights, sound, etc. Seen more in luxury homes, these features can be particularly impressive upon inspection.
Integrated audio systems – for the music lovers and the entertainers, the popular brands include the likes of Yamaha, Bose, Sonos, Beats and Audio-Technica.
Lifts – Ideal for the older, better off crowds, or those who simply require them. Can be private in high end homes or communal in apartments.
3 phase power – taking it a step further for those who get busy in the workshop.
Storage – We are a population who need ‘stuff’ so any form of storage – bespoke cabinetry or joinery, entertainment units, cocktail bars, storage rooms, walk in linen presses, window seat storage boxes, attic storage, custom built desks and bookcases, is ideal. Also look for outside storage – a shed, a store room, a storage cage, underhouse storage or even an undercover area on the side of the house for the bikes. It’s all helpful an adds value.
Window furnishings – Plantation shutters and s-fold drapes are on trend, however quality roller blinds are timeless, white or timber slatted blinds add a holiday feel and beautiful drapes add a sense of luxury. They are expensive to install, so appreciate the quality, or simplicity of the window furnishings. For investment properties, it is now mandatory to have window coverings on all bedrooms and living spaces.
Ducted vacuum – Some love them, some hate them… there are new versions with retractable hoses built into the wall which makes cleaning so much easier. Look for those!
Those with luxury cars might require secure garaging behind gates, others may be happy enough to just have an undercover space. For some suburbs, parking is a premium item on their home buying check list, some it doesn’t matter so much. Many apartment blocks have turned to car stacker parking – while some despise it, it’s a clever way to maximise the number of car spaces… and when they integrate it was a car turntable, it actually makes for sensible parking when space is limited.
In a property world where there is so much similarity, particularly when it comes to new townhouses and apartments, it will be those small details or what we like to call the ‘added extras’ that will make you put in an offer.