Don’t rush in and make an offer on the first house you view. There are potential perils that you need to be aware of!
You have saved your hard-earned money and it is finally time to break into the property market. Don’t let excitement cloud your judgement, take your time and get to know the house well before taking the next step. Here are some things you should know before buying a new house:
What you need to know BEFORE making an offer
It isn’t uncommon for your heart to rule over your head when making this emotional purchase. That is a rookie error that could have catastrophic effects, resulting in the purchase of a lemon aka money pit. This can be easily avoided by considering the following:
Environment and area
The surrounding environment and area can have the potential to turn your dream home into a nightmare. Do your research into the neighbourhood and see how the crime rate compares to surrounding areas. You don’t want your family home to be vandalised or broken into, not to mention the higher cost of insurances.
Contact the local council to see the flood maps and get information on past floods in the area. For a quick guide of the risk in Brisbane areas, CLICK HERE. Flooding can cause more costs and damage than you realise.
Building and pest inspections
Building and pest inspections are essential prior to buying a house. The qualified inspectors know exactly what to look for. They will see hidden concerns that you will not know about without an inspection. They will notice cracked beams, water damage and much more.
If the real estate agent offers to arrange the pre-purchase inspections for you, get your own evaluation done as well from a team that is reliable and trustworthy. The possibility of the agents report being biased is a risk that should not be taken when making this purchase, as they do not want anything to hinder the potential sale.
Before you step foot into the house take a look at the exterior. There are potential issues that can be seen before the pre-purchase inspection is done that could give you an indication on how well the property has been looked after.
• Fences – do fences look to be in good condition? These are quite expensive to replace and you don’t want to have this additional cost shortly after purchasing a house.
• Roof tiles – can you see any broken or cracked tiles? If you answered yes, this could be a sign that there is water damage in the roof.
• Gutters – are the gutters in good condition? Rust means they will require replacing before too long. Also, check to make sure they are attached correctly and not hanging loosely.
• Drainage – does the yard contain drains? If it doesn’t, will it need drainage installed? Check the slope of the block and check for obvious signs of water build up throughout the yard.
A new coat of paint will spruce up the house but look beyond the crisp, clean walls and fancy décor. Open the cupboards in the kitchen and bathrooms so you can check for obvious signs of mould, mildew and water damage.
Take notice of cracks in the walls, if the cracks are large this is cause for concern however fine cracks are often acceptable. Your building inspector will pick up on this if it is a problem. Check the condition of power points and appliances, if they appear to be in poor form, it could mean the electricals need replacing and this is not cheap.
While most issues and damage can be repaired, they could also be the reason you struggle to sell your house down the track or contribute to unforeseen maintenance costs.
By checking the above before signing anything, you could save yourself a lot of heartache and money.
What is on your ‘must check’ checklist before buying a house? Have you experienced a house from hell?
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