Eyes wide open
Viewing a property can be an adrenalincharged experience – particularly in a market that’s moving fast. In some areas it’s not uncommon to find tens of other budding buyers viewing the same place and this can create real pressure when you find a place you want.
But to ensure that you really are buying your dream place, and not a lemon, you’ve got to make sure that you check out the smaller details and not just look at the bigger picture.
One practical tactic for keeping your feet on the ground is to work with a checklist. This will help ensure that you don’t cut corners in your inspection and that all the boxes are ticked before getting down to the business of putting in an offer. As well as checking off the general state of repair of the inside of the house, this will also help remind you to check for problems with the exterior.
The quality of the roof is often overlooked by over-excited buyers, for example, however this can be a costly oversight. Take particular note of any missing or cracked roofing tiles as well as cracked brickwork, loose mortar and crumbling eaves.
Damp in a house can be catastrophic, so also look for the tell-tale signs on the interior. Water marks on wall paper can be an indicator that water has leaked in; musty smelling carpet can also be a giveaway.
Make sure you look out for cracked ceilings and also walls that may have had cracks papered over. A thorough inspection is especially important as sellers may try and hide any imperfections, signs of damage or problems in the making. Just remember, you can help make sure that you don’t get lumbered with a money pit by taking time to inspect a property thoroughly before you put in an offer.
Even if your first inspection comes up trumps, go home, take time to reflect, and return to view the place afresh – you’ll be surprised at what you didn’t notice the first time around.
Finally, if you have any doubt, use the services of a professional.
Source: Lending Services Victoria