Debbie Shankar - 14 Mar, 2016

Must Do Building Checks Before You Buy a Property

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It’s exciting when you find the right home for you, but it’s important when you’re looking to buy a home that you think with your head and not your heart. While a home can be presented well and look perfect when you go to an open inspection, often a second, more complete viewing, will allow you to spot possible problems. Plus, if you’re not an experienced builder or tradesperson, then you may be overlooking those tell-tale signs that a bigger problem is lurking just below the surface. This is why a building inspection is a must before you buy.

Why You Should Have a Professional Building Inspection Before You Buy?

Most home buyers know how to live in a home, but not very many understand how that home is built or what costly issues could possibly arise from what looked like such a small blemish during an open inspection. But, by hiring a building inspector to check the structure of a property before you buy a home, you are avoiding any financial pitfalls at a later date.

A building inspector will check the quality of workmanship, highlight any structural concerns, and likely maintenance issues that you may encounter with a property. Many inspectors will be able to give you an estimate of cost for repairs or maintenance, and this, in turn, will enable you to factor this into whether or not you purchase the property. Of course, before you hire an inspector there are a number of aspects you can inspect on a home yourself, these are as follows:

• Movement and Settlement Signs

Most homes will display signs of movement and settlement, such as fine cracks in floors, ceilings and timber frames. Movement and settlement occurs due to shifts in the earth that lay below a property. More movement under a house foundation typically occurs when a property is older, soils are reactive or a drought is occurring. You may also find movement occurs if any new building is occurring near a property.

Minimal movement is acceptable, but major movement can cause costly problems, especially in relation to plumbing, the home’s foundations and its overall structure. Repairs can also be a nightmare.

To look for movement and settlement in a property, search for cracks in doors and timber window frames, and around the outside of these. Also look for cracks in brickwork and for doors that do not close properly. Small cracks, under 5mm in size are an easy fix, but anything larger than this could be more expensive to repair.


• Stains on The Ceilings

Any ceiling discoloration may be an indication of water damage. These types of marks are typically caused by faulty pipes or problems with air-conditioning or roofing. If you cannot see stains on the ceiling, but the paint looks different, then this may be an indication that any damage has been painted over.
To gain a thorough understanding of the condition of the roof, make sure you walk around the outside of the home and inspect it, along with the guttering. Look for any rust and grass or weeds, as this could signify costly repairs are needed.

• White Ants

Also known as termites, white ants are the tiniest of home destroyers. These little guys can gnaw their way through the toughest of timber and they cause millions of dollars in damage to timber frames, floors and doors. To ensure a home is termite free, inspect timber window frames, door frames and any skirting boards. Also look around the home to make sure it is dry and that there is no untreated timber near the house which may attract white ants. Be sure to inspect any nearby trees or garden beds. Tell-tale signs of white ants are thin muddy trails up walls, timber frames that look solid, but are hollow when pushed, and marks or holes in timber.

Are you thinking of buying a home? Then contact eChoice and find the right home loan for YOU today.

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