Top 10 Things to Check for When Buying a House

There are so many exciting aspects of house hunting. The emotions can run high, especially if it is your first purchase – but don’t be too hasty in signing a contract… You may be too excited by the perfect price and location to overlook some potential problems with your dream home –

  1. MOULD: How does the property smell? Does it smell musty and of potential mould issues? Are there watermarked walls or ceilings? Is the plaster flaking? Check the skirting boards to see if there are any air bubbles or warping. It is also best to check inside all bathroom and kitchen cupboards for mildew. The backs of hanging curtains and blinds can also be checked for mould. Mould can be removed professionally, but this can be costly. There is also the question of the root cause of the mould and damp. A mouldy house is not a healthy house.
  2. THE LAND: Don’t just inspect the house! The land is part of the package too. Is there heavy bush around it? Have their been any bush fires in the area before? What about flooding – is the land close to a body of water? Is there a shared driveway or fence? Is the fence built and positioned properly?
  3. INSULATION: Invest in a well insulated home. Check the roof cavity to ensure proper insulation has been professionally laid. This can reduce heating and cooling costs and keep you more comfortable all year round. Double glazed windows are always a bonus especially if you receive western sun and live near a noisy road!
  4. WATER LEAKS: Always check the walls and cupboards backing onto bathrooms and laundries for moisture. Are there any water stains, mould or corrosion? What about the carpet just outside the bathrooms, is it completely dry?
  5. CRACKS: Excessive cracking within a property internally or externally can be a cause for concern and should be inspected by a qualified building inspector.
  6. THE ROOF: How does the roof look? Are the lines straight? Are their any tiles missing? Does any restoration work need to be done? Guttering should also be checked to see if there are any cracks or corrosion as this will mean they will soon need replacing.
  7. DRAINAGE: Walk around the perimeter of the property. Are there any boggy patches of ground? Or grass patches that are extra green? Look up above and check to see that all roof downpipes are flowing correctly into drains and not just soaking straight into the ground.
  8. CEILINGS: Do the ceilings look straight? Shine a torch across the ceiling and this may show up potential defects.
  9. PLUMBING: Run all the taps and showers to ensure that plumbing is working correctly, water runs clear and there aren’t any loud noises coming from the pipes.
  10. GARDENS: Ensure that gardens are not placed right up against the house at a level where termite and pest inspections cannot be maintained correctly.

These checklist items may help you see potential issues with a house before you commit further to a sale, but a professional building and pest inspection for Melbourne buyers is always key to peace of mind and a happy purchase.