You have found a house you want to buy. You have done your research and it is the area you want, close to schools (for those that have or plan to have children) and there are no major planning applications that could affect the value of your property. The next step is to go to the open home or arrange a private viewing and inspect the property.
Whether you are purchasing an investment property or buying your own home, there are many things you should look for during any open home which could potentially save you money and stress in the long term.
Using your senses can give you a good indication of any potential issues. Here are some ways you can use your senses to look out for potential problems at an open home.
- Are there cracks in the walls or tiles?
- Is the paint peeling?
- Is there any mould?
- Is the roof bowing/sagging?
- Are all the light switches working?
- Is there sufficient water pressure from all taps and shower heads?
- Are the neighbouring properties well kept?
- Are there locks on the windows and doors?*
- How many parking spaces are available?
- Is the pool fenced? (if applicable)
- Is there anything masking potential smells? (e.g. candles, potpourri, fresh cookies)
- Does the house smell damp?
- Do the closets smell musty?
- Does it smell burnt when you switch on any power points?
- Is the road noisy?
- Can you hear the neighbours?
- Are there any animals you can hear?
- Is there construction work nearby?
- Is the house under a flight path?
- Do any stairs creak when stepped on?
- Are any of the walls damp?
- Does the floor feel solid?
- Does the hot water work?
- Are there potential burn hazards with exposed pipes?
- Do the windows easily open and close?
- Does the air-conditioning run both hot and cold air?
There is only so much you can see when inspecting a property. It is a good idea to get a building and pest report done by a professional who can check for major issues such as termite activity, structural issues and damp.
Use the following checklist as a reference for some of the things you should look for during your inspection. You can download the checklist below.
*On the 13 of March 2018 new laws were introduced which state that all strata buildings that have windows over two metres from the ground are required to have appropriate locks fitted as a safety measure. Find out more here.