A quick guide to inspecting a home
Conducting effective inspections is a key part of the journey to buying a home. You want to find a home that’s both a nice place to live and a good investment, and a thorough inspection helps to gather the information you need to make the best decision. This quick guide will equip you with the fundamentals you need to get this right.
Take in the home as a whole
Walk through the whole property and think about how it feels to be there. Ask if it meets your needs and if you can see yourself living there. Use all your senses for this, not just your sight. For example, listening to the sounds of the area will give you an idea about traffic noise and neighbours.
Don’t be shy – check all the nooks and crannies
Turn on the taps to check the water pressure and any issues with leaks. Look in all the cupboards for any signs of damage or mould. Try the light switches, windows and doors to see that everything’s working as it should, and look under rugs where possible to check the floors.
And don’t forget to use your nose – smells give great clues about issues such as mould and water damage.
Remember the things you can’t see
No matter how thorough your inspection, there are things you need to be aware of before buying a home that only trained professionals can uncover. Problems such as termite infestations or issues with structural integrity can be invisible to the untrained eye.
Because of this, it’s important to organise a range of checks. These include a building inspection to evaluate the structural soundness of the property and any other features such as swimming pools, a pest inspection and a surveyor’s report. These inspections come at a cost, but they are worth it to avoid far more expensive outlays down the track.
On top of seeking professional advice, you should also do your own research on the home you are interested in. Look for environmental hazards that could place the property at risk and drive up insurance costs, such as bushfire and flood zones. Check with local council and government for zoning regulations and proposed developments that could impact your property. If the home is part of a complex, obtain a strata report and read the by-laws that apply to see that the complex is a good fit for you. Visit the neighbourhood at different times of the day and week to see how traffic, noise and activity changes over time.
Being thorough in your inspection will help you to make the right decision when you are choosing the best home for you.