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House Hunting Checklist For First-Timers

House Photo by Nicolás BoullosaWhen house hunting, either as a renter in search of a new place to live or a first-time investor looking to purchase a rental property, certain things absolutely must be taken into account. For owners, despite the fact that you may never actually live in it yourself, your property needs to be attractive to potential renters. For renters, the place needs to fulfill your needs not only now but also into the future – something many renters tend to forget. Here are a couple of items that should feature on your house hunting checklist.

Property Managers

You need a property manager that is attentive and organised. Unfortunately, not all property managers match these criteria; you may need to spend some time on sites like to find one that both does their job and won’t charge you an arm and a leg in real estate agent commissions. A good, reliable property manager is essential for renters and owners alike. And they do exist… you may just have to do a bit of research to find one!


Does the kitchen accommodate only one person at a time? If so, renters should look elsewhere and investors should renovate it immediately if they choose to buy. Particularly for a rental property, a kitchen should be able to comfortably fit three people preparing different things at the same time. Kitchens are traditionally a massive human bottleneck in rental properties and cause otherwise good properties to remain unoccupied for long periods of time.

Yard And Gardens

Yards and gardens often go overlooked by tenants when it comes to rental properties, so potential owners should be making it easier for tenants and themselves by minimising the on-going garden upkeep. Ensuring proper weed mats are installed and maintained periodically is an excellent start. Hardy grasses are perfect for the lawn because they don’t require much looking after and that should keep everyone happy.

Power Points

Take note of the amount of power points there are in the house (unit) and their locations. For many houses built specifically to be investment properties, power points are, unfortunately a bit of an afterthought. They get put in strange, irritatingly unwieldy places that necessitate the use of extension cords. Renters should be on the lookout for this and owners should be ready to add more to make the space more accommodating and enjoyable. We all know the feeling when staying in hotels and we have to get on our hands and knees to plug in our laptop underneath and behind the desk!


Proper insulation is another thing that often gets overlooked in investment properties because it’s rather expensive. Renters should be making absolutely sure that any house they consider is properly insulated. Investors should be taking this into account from the start on any property they consider for purchase because if it hasn’t been installed already, it will need to be. A house that gets hot during the day in summer and stays hot well into the night is not an attractive one for renters. Sure renters probably won’t realise it when they FIRST rent, but they will only reluctantly renew the lease which means you will have the constant cost of re-marketing the property for new tenants.

These are just a handful of things first-time house hunters should be looking for when inspecting a property. Whether you’re a first-time investor making your first foray into the property market or a first-time renter looking to get out on your own, these are things that will haunt you continually if they aren’t looked at from the very start.

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