Things you should check before you buy any property

May 15, 2017, 11:28 a.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 soakwells 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.
  • 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.


James Whitehead, director of content @
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