Many of us have had the opportunity to go property hunting and, dreamy eyed, take in the scent of new carpet and paint fumes. It’s easy to be impressed by the waft of freshly baked cookies and a very polite and helpful real estate agent. Of course you’ll have a building and termite inspection, but have you done your own inspection before signing on the dotted line? Here are a few things you should check before getting too excited about the pack of Mentos you receive on the way out.
1. WET AREAS
Check the walls backing onto your wet areas for signs of water stains or moisture penetration. This could be an expensive exercise if you need to replace or fix water damaged walls.
Open all cabinets to check if it smells of damp or has water damage. During our bathroom renovation recently, I discovered a piece of cling wrap wrapped around a drain pipe to stop a leak. Effective enough to fool you for a while, but maybe not in the long run.
3. EVIDENCE OF MOULD
Check all ceilings for evidence of mould, or that it had recently been cleaned using bleach. Mould has to be professionally removed, but it’s best to find out the cause before giving it a scrub down.
We live in a home with plaster board interior walls and, only recently, my son tripped over and fell a hole in the wall with his head (he’s fine, apparently hardheaded…). Luckily, this is not too expensive to fix, but the appearance of fine hairline cracks in wall plastering could set you back quite a few dollars. These cracks can make the plaster come loose when you try and install paintings or other wall fixings and is a lot more expensive to fix.
It might look odd when you decide to fill up the sinks during a home walk through and then draining them all at the same time. It’s best to shrug off the sidelong glances and head shakes while doing this during your inspection. The water flow from the sink could indicate a drain blockage due to tree branches growing through your sewer line, or a collapsed pipe. The image above is what I discovered around the pipe in my bathroom vanity during a recent renovation. I consider myself the voice of experience, as I did none of these things before buying our house and only fell for the pack of Mentos handed out at the front door… (I have a terribly sweet tooth 🙂
A couple of years ago, I decided to paint the frame around my bathroom window. I discovered that the window frame didn’t fit the hole properly and the gaps were filled with squashed up plastic bags. We’ve been living in this house for 10 years and I would never have known this, if I hadn’t painted the frame. It’s a good thing to check all windows to see if they fit their frames, as well as opening and closing them, as they are expensive to replace if not functioning as they should.
A fireplace is a beautiful design feature in a home and always create a cosy, homely atmosphere. Make sure your fireplace doesn’t turn out to be a feature that you’ll only be lighting candles in for the cosy effect. Make sure installation was done correctly, that it drafts properly and that the chimney is clean. It could save you a few dollars in the long run.
Don’t be embarrassed to drop a few pieces of scrunched up toilet paper into the toilet and flushing it, to see if everything’s in working order.
Taste the water in an older house to see if pipes are still in tip top shape. Open and close all taps to see if they’re all in working condition – it will eliminate replacing them when you move in.
10. AIR CONDITIONING
If you live in a very warm climate or area like us, air conditioning is not just an added bonus, but a necessity. Make sure yours is in working condition, as replacing an air conditioning unit will cost a small fortune.
Let us know if you can add a few things to the check list, or had some funny or horrendous experiences yourself!
Cheerio ’til next time!