14 October 2019

What to look for when inspecting a property

Adrian Atelj
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It is easy to get swept up in the emotion of buying a new home. You tend to overlook obvious faults, preferring to focus on the endless possibilities on offer. However, it pays to temporarily park your emotions when inspecting a property to ensure you assess it through critical eyes.

One of the first things you should consider is the size of the property, including the back and front gardens and any available storage. Ask yourself questions such as: How many bedrooms can you configure from the floor plan? Does the garage offer extra storage? Is the backyard big enough for pets? Do the interiors provide enough space for your family to live comfortably?

Questions regarding space are particularly important when you are inspecting an unfurnished property. A room might look extremely spacious when empty but what happens when you move your furniture in? Will the lounge fit? Can you easily orientate the furniture to face the TV point?

When buying a new home is it also important to note the aspect of the property, particularly if you wish to cut down on your energy bills. A north facing property, or one that utilises its north facing side with large windows will bring a lot of sunlight in and keep your home naturally warm.

Another important thing to look for during inspections is hidden damage or faults that the current owners have attempted to disguise.

“Don’t be afraid to look underneath rugs and behind wardrobes,” said homes.com.au Founder & Managing Director, Pat Carbone.

“Run your hand along newly painted walls to check for concealed cracks, scratches, rot or mould stains which could reappear later. Also, make sure the plumbing and electricity is in good working order.”

Location is crucial when buying a new home or investing in a property. Is the property close to public transport? What other amenities are nearby? Is the property in the right catchment zone for your children’s schooling? Consider visiting the area at different times of day to gauge the neighbourhood vibe. Talk to your potential neighbours and ask them about the area.

Once you get serious about a particular property and you wish to place an offer, your next step is to arrange a building and pest inspection. A professional inspection of the interiors and exteriors will give you a complete picture of faults and damages, such as drainage issues or the presence of asbestos or termites. If you’re open to a bit of renovating and rectification work, many faults can be overcome.

A thorough, rational approach to property inspections will put your mind at ease and potentially save you a lot of stress and hidden future costs when buying your next home.

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