Do you know that buying a house is almost like preparing for a wedding?. A Thirty- Minute or One Hour home inspection counts for nothing in a home you’ll spend years or forever living in. It is not enough that you have decided on a house budget, the type of house you want, or the preferred location for your dream home, there are still a few crucial things to look out for before buying a property. Here are a few of them:
1 – Take your eyes off the aesthetics for a minute and focus on the building:
You will definitely not be thinking of the fine coloured painting of your home when your sleep is rudely interrupted by the drops of water coming from your leaking roof. Cleverly placed mirrors, strategic lighting, delicious smells, are all tricks sellers use to make their home more appealing. While the beauty and aesthetics of a house is important, sooner or later, it will become unimportant and irrelevant when compared to the functionality of the house.
Hint: A damp wall or ceiling may be a sign of plumbing or foundational issues. Cracks on the wall which could be either active (progressive) or dormant points and structural issues such as foundation soil settlement / movement, thermal movement, permeability of concrete, creeps, corrosion of the building reinforcement, moisture movement, etc. can all affect the functionality of the building.
2 – Don’t just look at it, check if it works:
Try your hands on everything. Turn on every faucet and every light switch, open every window and door, test the toilet flusher, check the water pressure and taste the water if you have to. Check and feel the walls for damp-rising.
3 – Look Around the building and its environment:
Even though we are focusing on purchasing a property, the environment where the property is, is equally important. If you have young children or love to host parties, check that the space around the property suits your preference. It is advised that you take note of the following when scrutinizing the environment of your potential home:
- Parking space
- Type/culture of the people living in the area
- Any strange structures or construction sites.
- How busy the road is
- Is it located near a bar? If so, it can become rowdy in the evenings.
- Proximity to the bus stop, market or mall
- The security.
4 – Is the location prone to flood?
Any professional realtor will advise a home seeker to carry out their search for a house during the rainy season. However, there are some tell-tale features to know if an area is prone to flood even during the dry season. These are:
- Water marks on the fence and external walls of the building
- Algae on the floor of the premises etc.
- Damp rising in the internal walls
- Flaking of the paint on the internal and external walls
- Cracks on the wall
- Humid smell in the rooms.
5 – The 5 Senses are not Enough:
A satisfied home inspection is still not enough reason to finally conclude that purchase. Because there’s only so much that you can do with your five senses, it is important that you get professionals to also do a proper check of the house. Also, ensure you request for the Mechanical & Electrical drawings. These drawings show the piping and electrical layout of the facilities in the house in case you have to carry out repairs such as plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning etc.
These are the physical things to look out for when thinking of buying a house. Next time we will throw more light on the process and documentation aspects of buying a house.
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