The idea of buying a new home is exciting but it does come with a lot of risks. This makes home inspection quite critical in the purchasing process because it ensures that everything is up to scratch. You wouldn’t want to miss something that can become ridiculously expensive to fix later on, for sure.
Pair your checklist with professional building inspections and you do more than just assess if the place is ready for you to move in. You’d also be alerted to any significant issues that could potentially spoil your idea of a perfect home. In some cases, the faults can be so bad that you’d probably want to move on to your next prospective property.
To help you steer clear from this awful scenario, here are a few tips that might just help:
One that should be on top of your list of things to check are structural problems because they’re the most expensive and difficult to fix. As you walk around the property, keep your eyes peeled for signs of subsidence, cracks in the brickwork, uneven floors, or doors that don’t close properly.
Nothing can dampen your first day at your new home than finding that the toilets are clogged or the faucets are leaky. It pays to check if the plumbing system is functional, indeed. Try turning on the taps to check for hammer issues. See if the water pressure is good and the drains are working as they’re supposed to.
Water marks and peeling paint are two indicators that a property may be dealing with excessive dampness. Sadly, some scrupulous vendors will simply paint over the problem! In this case, you need a hand from a professional inspector as they can easily see through the ruse.
Mould should be treated as an indication that a bigger, more expensive issue may be lurking somewhere. Common causes for mould growth include existing plumbing issues, leaky roof, rising dampness levels, and inadequate ventilation. Be on the lookout for mould growth on ceilings, bathrooms, walls, and window frames.
Sagging/buckling floors, mud trails, and hollow-sounding beams are all indications that termites may be thriving somewhere in a property. In cases of severe infestation, there may even be a sweet, sugary smell emanating from somewhere within the structure.
You may not suspect a termite infestation because the property you’re looking at has been newly constructed but don’t be complacent! Remember, termites are a problem no matter where you are in Australia. To be sure, you’ll have to get a pest inspection done before you spend a hefty sum to evict these unwanted freeloaders.
Do you see antiquated sockets and switches in the house you’re planning to buy? Is there a 1970s chandelier in the living room? In that case, the property’s electrical wiring may be outdated and you could be spending for a costly update.
Check the electrical box and find out when the system was last updated. But if it doesn’t have a residual current circuit breaker, the wiring system may not have been brought up to modern standards at all.
From the street, take a good look at the roof. Is it made of tiles or tin? Do you spot any rust? Are there missing/damaged tiles? Does it seem like the tiles look like they’re about to crumble? Any affirmation to these questions will mean that the roof needs work. Because that kind of renovation is costly, never skip looking at the roof.
Any fixed appliances in the property needs a thorough inspection. Checking if the stove, oven, dishwasher, air conditioning unit, and heating system are all working can guarantee convenience even on the first day of moving in. When it looks like one of them is on their last legs, you may have to factor in the cost to get them replaced or repaired. Although they should not only be checked to see if working but checked if working efficiently and safely by a professional.
Are you looking at a property that was built before 1986? It will probably contain asbestos somewhere. As you inspect the place, ask about the construction materials used for the house. If “fibro construction” is ever mentioned, there is a good chance that asbestos has been used in it.
Even houses up to mid 1990s can contain asbestos if a builder uses some old stock from home to one of his projects.
Although asbestos isn’t dangerous when the structure is in good condition, you may want to confirm if this is really the case through a pre-purchase building inspection.
Limiting your search to the less pricey end of the real estate market is certainly temping. It may be worth noting, however, that many of the units in this price range will have outdated bathrooms and kitchens.
While first-time home buyers won’t bother themselves too much about this detail, one will still need to assess the functionality of the said amenities. If they’re faulty enough to get in the way of one’s daily routine, you probably need to get a quote so you can factor future renovations into your budget. But if there have been renovations done on the property previously, check the quality of the work done.
Buying a property isn’t straightforward as one might hope and it can, in fact, be intimidating for first-time buyers. When you’re no big fan of fixer-uppers, you definitely need to have an eagle eye for trouble to protect yourself from dealing with problematic investments.
Although performing an ocular inspection yourself certainly helps, an even better option is to bring in the big guns. Touch base with our team of professional building inspectors and we’ll help you find the good buys on the property market!