Brighter Buying

Lemon alert: #5 red flags to look for at a property inspection

by Kate Watt, Marketing Manager 13 February 2020

The buzz of an open home is hard to beat, especially when you think you’ve found ‘the one’. You can just see yourself sitting on that back deck, Prosecco in hand (or VB - we don’t judge), taking in the afternoon breezes.

But look a little closer, and is that timber railing a little squishy under the layers of new paint?
A property inspection must be completed with your head and your heart in check – and you should definitely ensure any contract of sale is conditional upon a professional building and pest inspection.
But before you get to that point, a few quick checks of your own can make sure you proceed with eyes wide open – or help you decide to walk away early.

  1. Can you see obvious signs of termite damage like sagging floors or flaking or rotting beams and railings? This will need a builder and could be costly.
  2. Do the windows open easily or are they stuck shut? Sticky windows could be a sign that some WD40 is overdue or it could point to rot or structural concerns. Best to bring in the experts if you find some problem frames.
  3. Do the taps work? If it’s an older home, a set of shiny new taps from Bunnings can give your kitchen or bathroom an instant facelift. But if the water is discoloured or the pressure is uneven it could be a sign of plumbing problems and you’ll want a professional opinion.
  4. Are there cracks in the walls or gaps in the floors? Most homes will see some amount of cracking over time. Smaller cracks in paintwork might just need Selleys, but larger cracks could be a sign that a structural fix is needed, like restumping. Ask an expert.
  5. Is there mould on the walls or ceilings? This could be a sign of inadequate ventilation, water damage from a leak, or poor insulation. Either way, you’ll want to know if the fix will require bleach and elbow grease, or a professional plumber or builder.

Want some help navigating home buying pitfalls? Contact us for a chat.