Things You Absolutely Must Inspect before Buying!
There are many factors you would need to consider before you purchase a property; apart from the obvious like position, accommodation and aesthetics, there are some critical things to look for before you put pen to paper. They may just save you a lot of time, money and frustration later.
Although snags and defects may exist, some of these are not as serious in nature as one would imagine and can easily be remedied. But some red flags exist with certain defects that may be very costly to repair, and these are worth investigating.
Here are the most important aspects to consider when viewing a property;
- SECURITY ELEMENTS
These days security upgrades can be really expensive, so consider the alarm system that is installed and ask about it’s age. Look at the bars and security gates installed and consider the property’s blind spots, how visible things are from the street and how many vulnerable access points the property may have.
Carefully look at the pool surface and ask about any resurfacing that may have taken place? Ask about the filter pump, it’s age and whether the backwash system has been upgraded to re-use water and naturally ask about water saving alterations. Check for systems in place for refilling the pool using alternative sources to municipal water. Red flags would be cracks in the surfacing of the pool and very old filter systems.
- MOVEMENT, CRACKS AND DAMP
Carefully inspect any gaps in skirtings and cornices as this may often indicate subsidence and/or movement in the structure. Cracks are sometimes difficult to interpret, however severe cracks going across window lintels and frames, may be of concern and will need to be professionally checked.
Damp has a terribly bad reputation but some small damp patches in older homes are almost expected. The type of damp you’d be most concerned about is the pervasive type and it will be identified by quite a severe damp smell throughout the home. Take careful note of damp rising upward uniformly from the floor level in larger patches and note if these areas seem freshly patched and painted. Also be weary of homes with panelling where this cannot be visible.
Mildew in bathrooms can also be expected especially in Winter time and are not necessarily a major issue. Take note of how easily a bathroom can potentially be ventilated to avoid future recurrence of the issue.
Remember to also check larger trees and whether the roots are inhibiting any foundation.
These are naturally difficult to inspect but older homes may occasionally have roofing issues beyond the obvious. Keep an eye on sagging ceilings that have discoloured. If possible and if the seller is comfy ask for a ladder to simply pop your head in through the inspection hatch for a quick look around. Very important to consider guttering, it’s age and state of repair.
Consider the electrics and have a look at the main distribution board. Although a compliance certificate is usually promised by a seller it is worth considering that older wiring may pass such compliance. Also consider plug points in rooms, too few means frustration later as you will need to install more in our ‘’electronic’’ age.
- WATER PRESSURES
Flushing toilets and running the bath and shower taps may seem a bit awkward and invasive but these are things you may have to live with for some time, so do ask if the agent or seller if they are comfortable with you checking them out.
- ACCESS CONTROL AND FOYER PRESENTATION AT BLOCKS OF FLATS
If you are purchasing an apartment, consider the security, access control and foyer presentation carefully. The first impression regarding this is very important for the value of your property. Well run, secure and well-presented foyers or receptions are an instant value ad to any flat purchase. Speak to security personnel and ask specific questions around building security. Read more about what specifics to look for HERE.