By Barry van Heerden
The Silicone Valley home of Steve Jobs has been listed as an historic site by the local Council. This home was where Steve Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak built the first 100 Apple 1 computers in the garage.
The famous property at 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos is still owned by Steve Jobs’ sister, Patricia.
The historic listing is similar to properties in Queensland and New South Wales that may attract a heritage listing. Purchasers in both States need to be wary of any buildings that may have the potential or already are listed as heritage properties. People who are selling also need to be careful that those disclose any such heritage listings or potential listings in their Contract for sale.
There is a Register under the Heritage Act Queensland. The Register is available free of charge for inspection but a fee is payable for a certified copy of the Register.
In addition to the Queensland Register, a local council must also keep a register again which is free for inspection by public and the buyer can terminate up to 2 business days before settlement.
There are similar provisions for NSW.
The property market is heating up in both States so purchasers need to be very careful about carrying out their own enquiries and searches before they agree to sign a Contract. In Queensland, buyers sign Contracts with the Real Estate Agent and do not obtain any legal advice beforehand. It is also becoming more prevalent in New South Wales for Agents to exchange Contracts without reference to the Lawyers.
There are financial penalties for pulling out of the Contract under the cooling off period for the buyer, albeit .25% of the purchase price.
We believe that you should never sign anything until you have consulted with your Lawyers and always use your Lawyer that knows your overall circumstances. For example, it may not be appropriate for you to buy a property in your name. It could be that it should be bought in the name of a trust or in the single name of your spouse for asset protection purposes.
There are other general enquiries that you can carry out when purchasing a property that include asking neighbours about whether there have been any problems with the home and also whether there has been any violent history with the property (eg. murders, suicides etc).
Even though you will probably be pressured to sign Contracts and told that the property will be sold by someone else if you do not do this immediately, you should always step back and make sure that you are absolutely certain of buying the property which you are about to sign off on.
For any enquiries please contact our Property and Commercial Department Manager, Christine Martin on 07 55068245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.