Whether you’re first-time buyers, or even if you’ve just sold your old home and are now looking for somewhere new, ensuring you perform certain checks when viewing potential properties is an essential element of making the right decision. Though some people rely on professional building inspection companies to do this job for them (and that, by the way, is always advisable before you agree to part with any cash), at this early stage it’s still possible to work out how suitable a house will be on your own.
All you need is the right information, some good advice, and a keen eye for detail, and there really is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to spot major problems from a mile away. The basic rule of thumb is this; never, ever rush a decision to purchase a property, and if the seller is encouraging you to do this, it usually means they’re hiding something.
So, take a quick read through the rest of this article and I’ll do my best to fill you in on some of the rudimental checks you can make unaided.
Spend Some Time in the Garden
Although a lot of people neglect to check this area thoroughly, in truth, it’s possible to find out a lot about the quality of the property you’re viewing by making certain checks in the garden. Firstly, look for any large trees that might exist very close to the property; these could cause (or may have already caused) subsidence, so they’re best avoided. Secondly, make sure you assess the condition of any fences and gates, paying special attention to the base of all posts.
Examine the Outside Walls
Walk around the entire property and have a good look at the outer brickwork. Sometimes you will notice that the walls don’t seem to be straight, and again this is a sure fire sign of subsidence. Also, any cracks crumbling materials are usually natures way of telling you not to buy the house. If you want to do a thorough inspection it might be worth checking for rotten weatherboards, doors, windows and verandah posts, as these can also be a sign that everything is not quite as it seems.
Look Up On the Roof
A wavy roof line can suggest many problems, so take a moment to lean a ladder up against the side of the property, touching the roof. This should help you to determine if the structure is straight (or not). Also, look from broken titles or any areas that have been left to the elements, as these can indicate that the house has been in disrepair for quite some time and might well have some water damage. The chimney also needs checking, but I’d leave that up to the professionals.
Well, there you have it my friends. If you perform some of the checks I’ve just mentioned, you should be able to spot any major problems before losing any cash.
I wish you the best of luck, but remember, once you’ve found a property you believe is in sound structural condition; it’s essential that you get a professional opinion.