Buying a home
What to look for when inspecting a house
9 November 2018
This article is part of the Suncorp Home Buying Guide. A handy selection of articles, calculators and services to help you on your property buying journey.
If you’re thinking of buying a property, inspecting it before you sign on the dotted line is vital. You might think that you’ve found the perfect place, with the right number of rooms and a backyard big enough for a homemade minigolf course, but without giving it thorough once-over you could be investing in a ticking time bomb.
Why should I inspect a house before buying?
Inspecting your potential new home in person is an important part of the purchasing process. If you discover an existing issue after signing a contract, you could be stuck with it, and the repair costs. If there’s an issue that could’ve been discovered early, you’ll be kicking yourself.
Do you need a professional inspection?
Even if you conduct a thorough personal inspection of your prospective new home, it’s still a very good idea to organise an inspection by a professional, qualified building inspector.
Professionals have the experience and the knowledge to look for things you may be unaware of. Getting a professional’s opinion will also give you the confidence in knowing you have bought the right home for the right price.
What should I look for?
The first thing you should keep an eye out for is any signs of obvious defects. These could include:
- Cracks in the wall or ceiling, especially larger ones (small cracks are pretty common and not necessarily a sign of structural issues)
- Leaks, or signs of leaks such as mouldy patches or water damage in the ceiling
- Doors and windows that stubbornly refuse to open or close
- Flickering lights, which may indicate a haunting but are more likely a sign of electrical issues
- Sagging ceilings.
You should check the property for features relating to your lifestyle and preferences, such as:
- Number and size of rooms
- Noise (or lack thereof) from the neighbourhood and nearby streets
- Car parking
- Proximity to facilities like schools, public transport, parks, shops and cafes
- Yards and gardens, consider size, usefulness and maintenance
Should I bring someone along?
Read More from the Home Buying Guide:
The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.