From checking the water pressure to air-con, home-hunters can save money and drama by following this list of helpful pointers.
When you think you’ve found the one, it can be easy to overlook the finer details. However, buying a property requires a discerning eye. Even if you’ve done your fair share of rental inspections in the past, viewing a home that might be yours forever calls for a few key considerations – this list is a good place to start.
Plumbing and water pressure
After checking the plumbing and pipes both inside and out for leaks, turn on the taps in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry to check water pressure, colour and drainage.
Cracks in the walls
Run an eye over walls (inside and out) and ceilings for cracks, which can be signs of movement or subsidence – depending on the severity, this can be very costly to repair. If you do come across anything that’s a cause for concern, it might be necessary to call in a qualified building inspector.
While knocking down a wall or two could be an option, it pays to take a step back and think about just what you will need to do to make a new home suit your lifestyle. Are there enough rooms? Will you need to add more storage space? It’s one thing to see potential, but another entirely to find the time and budget to transform a new home. See here for 10 easy fixes, for that almost-perfect house.
Checking the direction in which the house faces will give you a good idea of whether the living areas will be hot or cold. Remember to consider all seasons and not just how the space feels at the time of inspection. Is there plenty of natural light? What about airflow? Views are also important as this is an element you will have less control over.
If you plan to remove the carpet, ask about what lies underneath or see if there’s a corner you can lift to take a peek – installing new flooring can be costly, so knowing what to expect early on can be very helpful. Find out if the floorboards require polishing or whether they’ll need replacing.
Damp and mould
Check for water marks, stains and paint damage, as well as mold – these can indicate that there’s a ventilation problem that will need to be fixed. Opening cupboards and cabinets will help you to detect any smells or damp and mildew.
Pests and termites
Hollow-sounding timber such as beams and floorboards can be an indication of termite damage. Find out – both from the agent and the local council – whether the area is prone to termites or other insects and pests. Be wary of mouse traps, rat poison, and cockroach baits throughout the house, which could be signs of pest trouble