The Five Things You Need To Check Before Buying A Property
As you walk into a home open, it’s easy to get caught up in the features of the house and get enchanted by the interior and furniture. That’s all great, you want a good vibe and feel like this house is The One, whether you’re thinking of buying to move in yourself or as an investment.
If you’re serious about buying a property, then you need to dig deeper and look into the details, the devil is in the detail! Sometimes an agent will walk you through the house and introduce the features of the property. Once that is done, make sure you walk around and have a look around yourself. Whilst the Good Working Order clause in the Offer and Acceptance contract will ensure that all gas, plumbing and electrical is in good working order, it is always beneficial to have a clear idea of the condition of the property you’re buying.
Here’s a checklist of five things every home buyer should consider before buying a property.
Have a look for mould or musty smells. It can be costly to fix up major damp issues, but quite cheap for minor ones. Have a look around the laundry area and make sure it’s well ventilated. Watermarks and peeling or bubbling paint are also dead giveaways. There is no need to be too alarmed as dampness is a common problem and can usually be easily resolved. But for your own peace of mind feel free to bring an expert through the property for a qualified consultation.
2. Water Pressure
Turn on the taps in the house to make sure the water pressure is running smoothly, you want to make sure the drainage is working well too. Check for leaks, rust and age. A hot water system normally lasts for ten years, be sure to ask how old it is, and if you suspect something is not quite right with the water systems call in the professionals to assess the damage before proceeding with further action to purchase the property.
3. Structural integrity of the building
Have a close look at the ceilings, doors, walls and windows, inside and outside of the property. Doors that stick, gaps or major cracks could be a housing defect and lead to bigger problems in the future. Do the windows slide open easily? Check the woodwork by pressing it, if it’s soft, it’s rotten. If there is condensation between double glazed windows, they are faulty.
You can easily protect yourself from structural defects by making an offer subject to a structural inspection. That way if any issues are found the seller will be required to rectify them if the offer is to proceed.
When you walk across the floorboards you may notice a creak or two, but keep your ears open for unusual sounds which may indicate damaged foundations. In old houses in particular, make sure the floors are level and there are no cracks that would allow cockroaches and other insects inside the house. Do keep in mind however that cracked or damaged floorboards can be patched or replaces with not too much trouble. Note that for strata properties all structural issues are strata issues, covered by strata insurance.
5. Termites and other pests
Don’t just stop inside the home, you need to make sure the house is not being damaged from the inside out by termites and pests! The earlier you identiy the issue the better, and you could save thousands of dollars. If you are concerned about live termite activity, make your offer subject to a pest inspection, so you can be sure those little critters won’t leave you in ruins!
If you discover any of these issues in your perfect home or investment property, don’t let yourself be completely put off. Most established properties are not in perfect condition, especially those with character. Now that you’re aware of the issue you can, with the assistance of the relevant professional, find out what needs to be done to fix it and how much this will cost before buying the property. From here you can decide if it’s work that you’re willing to take on in order to secure The One!
If you are planning on selling your home and notice any possible defects in your property, we would always recommend you have these looked at by a professional prior to listing. This will ensure your agent will be able to counter any objections from prospective buyers and will ensure a smooth road from sale to settlement.