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6 Things You Should Never Overlook When Buying a Home

So you think you’ve found your dream home! It’s got everything you’re looking for – a big kitchen, an extra bedroom, walk-in-robes – but what are you glossing over?

When it comes to buying a home, be sure to take off those rose-coloured glasses before placing an offer. There are certain issues you should never overlook, or risk spending thousands on renovations later down the track.

We’ve made a list of the top 6 things you should watch out for when buying a new home.

Mould not only looks unsightly, it can be dangerous. Unfortunately, it can hide away in cupboards, under carpets, behind appliances and in your roof. If the house has a damp feeling or smell, the underlying cause of dampness will need to be solved.

It’s not all bad news, however – mould issues can be addressed by professionals, but it’s best to seek advice before signing on that dotted line.

Is the home already housing some unwelcome visitors? Small creepy-crawlies don’t have to be a make-or-break factor, but infestations of pests such as termites can cause irreversible damage. In worst case scenarios, they can completely destroy homes.

The CSIRO estimates that 1 in 5 Australian homes will be attacked by termites, so skipping a pre-purchase pest inspection can be an expensive mistake.

Structural Issues
Purchasing a home with structural damage is a recipe for extra project costs down the line. Look for warning signs like cracks in the walls and roof and uneven flooring, as this can signal the house is shifting on its foundation.

Replacing roof tiles is a fairly common job, but if you notice the roof is sagging, it’s best to get the opinion of a professional before signing off on a sale. This can indicate the roof is unable to support its current weight or the roof line isn’t straight, meaning you will need to reinforce or replace the rafters.

Water damage
Always check for suspicious water stains and dampness. While small stains may not look like much, they can indicate a much larger issue with drains and pipes and these can be costly to replace. Water damage can also put you at risk for mould and mildew, so best to get any leaks checked out.

Outdated Electrical’s
Many electrical practices that were commonplace in the 60’s and earlier are no longer used today. Certain outdated electrical system can put you at a greater risk of a fire, or limit the number of appliances you can have running at once.

This is an important factor to consider before purchasing a home, as you may need to get a professional to rewire the building.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that was phased out of Australian building products through the 1980s and completely banned in 2003. This means that many older style homes in Western Australia may be hiding the potentially deadly material in its structure.

Asbestos inspections, lab testing and removal can be a costly business. Depending on the size of the removal area, asbestos can take anywhere from a couple of thousand, to tens of thousands of dollars to safely remove from your home.

It’s important to remember that most houses on the market don’t come in faultless condition, especially older styles. If you dream of living in a charming character home, chances are you will encounter a number of these issues, so make sure you set aside some budget to address them.

Be sure to ask a lot of questions when inspecting a property, and when in doubt,  always get a second opinion from an unbiased professional before you make that offer.


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