Property Inspection Checklist for New Buyers: Things you should check before you buy any property

Aug. 7, 2017, 2:39 p.m.

Undertaking a property inspection for the first time can be an overwhelming task.

You need to have your eyes open to all aspects and features of the home – because no one wants to buy their dream home and it turn out to be an expensive nightmare! Do your property inspection right and see the benefits into the future. Where possible, it’s always advisable to contact a qualified building inspector to carry out a rigorous property inspection for you.

However, the following are a few simple property inspection checks you can carry out yourself:

  • Can you see any water stains or corrosion on the walls surrounding the shower or bath? Or are there any signs of moisture on the walls surrounding the bath or shower? This may be a sign of water leakage, which can be costly to repair.

  • Are the ceilings sagging? When you’re doing your property inspection, take a torch and shine the light across the ceiling, this will show any defects. Is the ceiling fixed firmly flush into place or does it have a ‘parachute’ appearance? If the roof is sagging, you’ll need to contact a builder to carry out repairs to the ceiling sheeting.

  • Check that all roof downpipes are discharging into storm water soak wells and not just discharging onto the ground. You don’t want a flood in your new home when the monsoon season comes.

  • It is also wise to look for any signs of previous flooding around the base of the roof downpipe. This can be an indication that the soak wells are not suitably sized or require cleaning out, which can be a costly maintenance item. If the property does not have the proper drainage, having a soak well installed can be very expensive.

  • As part of any property inspection, look for any large cracks in the walls. Specifically, the inside and outside walls should be checked for cracks over 2mm in width. If the house has excessive cracking you must call a building inspector to check the soundness of the property’s structure.

  • Can you see any mould or detect a musty smell in the bathrooms or bedrooms during your property inspection? Mould is an unwelcome arrival in any home and can have detrimental effects on your health if left unchecked. Mould looks like dirty clouds on the walls and ceilings and bring with it a musty smell. Mould should be removed by professional cleaners with the correct chemicals, which can be expensive. You also must look into what is causing the mould. Was it bad maintenance or something a more serious?

  • In addition, during your property inspection, check inside the cupboards in all the wet areas. All cupboards should be opened to detect if there is a smell of damp, mould and mildew. Any damp smells can be an indication of water leaks and this problem will only get worse.

  • Check the roofline is straight once your property inspection moves outside the house. Stand outside and look up the lines of the roof. Are they straight and free from deflections? If not, you had best to talk to a qualified building inspector.

  • Check for rusty roof gutters. If the roof gutters show any sign of rust, they may soon require replacing. This isn’t always cheap.

  • Are there dents on the external perimeter walls, window and door frames of the home? There should be small holes drilled above and below window and door frames approximately 12cm apart. These holes allow water to escape from the cavity walls. Without these holes water can penetrate the internal walls of the home causing ongoing and expensive maintenance. If this hasn’t been done when you do your property inspection, it could mean more problems lay below the surface.

If you are still unsure about a property after carrying out these property inspection checks, contact a qualified building property inspector to carry out a detailed property inspection report.

Are you ready to buy a new home? Check out some of the properties up for sale at Realestate.com.kh now!