Buying a home is a significant investment, and taking the necessary steps to ensure you're making a good investment is essential.
One of the most important steps in the home-buying process is to inspect the property before you put in an offer. Whether you hire a professional or do the inspection yourself, this will give you a good idea of the state of the home and what type of maintenance issues you can expect in the future.
So, you’ve done a walk-through of the property, noticed how many beds and baths there are and have a good idea of what state the house is in, right? Not necessarily.
It’s easy to make a home look like a good investment with a lick of paint or the right furniture staging. It’s not until you inspect your potential new home up close that you will have a good idea of how sound the house is.
Poorly done renovations, leaks, draughts or bad electrical work could result in you spending thousands of dollars on your home that you just weren’t expecting. Here’s why you should always inspect a home before you place an offer:
A home inspection will reveal issues you might have missed on your initial walk-through. It’s easy to get carried away with the layout and size of a home the first time you visit it and not pay close attention to the parts of the home that aren’t immediately noticeable, especially to the untrained eye.
Look for structural issues, faulty electrical or plumbing systems, and hidden water damage. By uncovering these issues, you can avoid costly repairs or renovations in the future. Check how well the shower, bath and taps run and how well the plugs drain.
Take a phone adapter with you and check how many outlets are properly wired in the home. These are the types of things that won’t show up on a builders’ report but could cost you dearly.
If your home inspection reveals significant issues, you may be able to negotiate a lower price with the seller. This can help you save money on the purchase price and any repairs or renovations needed.
On the other hand, if your inspection reveals that your ‘dream home’ has many issues, you can at least walk away knowing you did your due diligence. While it’s disappointing to find hidden problems with your home, it’s always better to know this information early on to make an informed decision.
A home inspection can also identify potential safety hazards, such as faulty wiring or mould growth. Addressing these issues before moving in ensures your new home is safe for you and your family.
There’s nothing worse than moving into a home only to discover a risk to your safety.
A thorough home inspection can give you peace of mind knowing you're making a sound investment. You can decide whether to proceed with the purchase by identifying any potential issues upfront.
An inspection can also allow you to budget more accurately for any improvements, renovations or modifications. It’s unrealistic to expect to buy a home with zero improvement needs. This way, you’ll better understand what money you might need to spend over five to ten years.
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It’s up to you whether or not you hire a professional inspector to look at your home. A professional inspector has the expertise and experience to identify potential issues you may not know. If you don’t have a building background or have never owned a home, you may miss some of the issues a professional would easily pick up on.
A professional will also provide you with a comprehensive report that details any issues or concerns they have about the property. This can be valuable when negotiating the purchase price or deciding whether to proceed.
Your inspector will also have the right tools to inspect areas of your home you might not have thought of. For example, moisture detectors and thermal tools can show leaks or water damage in the walls and floors that you may not be able to see.
By hiring a professional inspector, you can have peace of mind knowing that an expert has thoroughly inspected the property and identified any areas of concern.
Hiring a professional inspector can be costly, which may be a deterrent for some homebuyers. Scheduling a home inspection can take time, delaying the home-buying process. While a home inspection is a good investment, it may not identify every issue with the property.
Pathways and driveways free of cracks or loose concrete
Fences are structurally sound, not rotting or damaged from termites
Proper drainage on grounds
No signs of standing water
No visual pest damage to lawn or grounds
Landscaping and gardening are in good condition
Veranda, balcony, and deck are in good condition
Walls and cladding free of damage/cracks
Paint is well-maintained
No signs of mould or damp on walls
No defects on flashings, mouldings or sills on doors and windows
No vines growing into the house, surfaces or structures
Sheet roofing free of corrosion
Roof does not bulge or sag
No defects/damage to gables
Paint coat is in good condition
Roof gutters are free of decay or rust
No damage or stains on roofing underside
Ceilings don’t sag, crack or show signs of staining
Walls aren’t cracked, show staining or signs of damp
No vertifical distortion of walls
Floors are even, free of signs of dampness
Windows open freely
Window glass intact
Joinery free of corrosion
Door frames operate freely
Doors and windows have working locks
Stair rails are sturdy
Benchtops are even, don’t lift and are free from damage
Kitchen cupboards are free of water damage, don’t smell musty
Cupboard doors and drawers open freely and are in good condition
Sinks/taps free of chips, cracks
Taps don’t leak when turned off
Water taps turn on easily
Sinks drain well
Cisterns free of cracks and leaks
Cistern doesn’t run and flushes correctly
Taps don’t leak
Toilets operate properly and don’t run
Floor covering in good condition and watertight
Shower screen free of cracks and sealed at the floor/wall
Shower tiles don’t have any cracks
No signs of leaking around the shower or bath seal
Vanity basin, cabinet, and mirrors free of damage
Doors/drawers operate correctly
Room free of mould or signs of condensation damage
Fan is installed and works properly
Windows open freely
Interior and exterior lights work
Plugs draw power when tested
Alarm system installed and working
Smoke alarms installed and working
Plumbing in good condition, no signs of leaks or stains
Electrical wiring in good condition
Sufficient insulation in the roof, walls and floor
Adequate ventilation throughout the house
A thorough inspection allows you to identify potential issues that could result in costly repairs down the line and negotiate a fair price with the seller. By hiring a qualified home inspector, you can gain peace of mind and make an informed decision about whether or not to move forward with the purchase. Ultimately, investing time and resources into a home inspection can save you money, time, and frustration in the long run.
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