Although it’s best to leave building and pest inspections up to the experts, it is important to pay attention and look out for any defects on inspection day.
It can be tempting to take in home styling and lifestyle alone, but the best thing you can do is look beyond the aesthetics to the structural quality. Be sure to look out for any large cracks in brickwork, sagging ceilings, damage to flooring, roof condition or any presentation of mould.
“Most properties will have building and condition reports as well as pest inspections prepared by a qualified professional but if they don’t, organise an assessment of the property yourself. In the end, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.”
Surfaces and finishes
As well as any building defects, consider the surfaces and finished of the property. The age, quality, and thickness of household materials are difficult to ascertain without being physically onsite.
If there are wooden floorboards, walk through the house to understand where there are creaks or floorboards rising. Thoroughly inspect the kitchen benches, bathroom tiling, and taps or faucets as well to check their condition and whether any upgrades may be required after purchasing.
It is also a good idea to understand how thick the windows are and if they rattle or let wind in. If you’re near a busy road, ensure the windows are double glazed and block out external noise.
“While you shouldn’t turn down your dream home on the basis of a creaky floorboard, it’s important to understand what additional upgrade costs may be required, on top of the sales price of the home, and how that fits into your budget.”
As well as the layout of a property, having natural light comes with lots of benefits and is often a feature that many homebuyers forget to consider.
When visiting the property, notice which way the property is facing and how windows are positioned to help or hinder lighting effects. If the light source at a particular time is of importance to you – say a bedroom with morning light – consider scheduling your appointment to coincide with that period.
Most newer homes are now built with orientation in mind and will often be built in a way that assists in efficient lighting, heating and cooling throughout the year.
“The right natural lighting can assist in lowering power bills as well as being proven to help in mental wellbeing of the residents.”
Whether you drive a car, a motorcycle or opt to use public transport, a private car space can be an advantageous addition when looking for a property.
However, a car spot is redundant if your vehicles do not fit. Particularly with larger family-sized cars, the roof height or the width can be an obstacle to utilising the space.
If you are not lucky enough to snag a property with off street parking, make sure to check on street parking when attending the open for inspection. Notice whether there is all day parking available, or, if you are in a major city, whether you will need to apply for a residential parking permit.
As it is said again and again ‘location, location, location’, your properties location within a suburb can mean the world of difference when it comes to day-to-day living.
“You may have done hours of research and know the suburb features and lifestyle like the back of your hand, but it’s only when there that you notice your ‘dream home’ has a barking dog next door or the traffic along your road is loud.”
When visiting the property, get to know the street that the property is on and take in if there are any main roads, developments or commercial areas that may affect both the livability of the property and potential resale in the future.
While you should use the time in the property to give the home a thorough inspection, be sure to also strike up a relationship with the agent and grab their contact details before you leave the property. Instead of spending time asking questions during the inspection, write them down in your phone and collate them in an email following the visit.