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Pre-purchase property inspection checklist: 12 signs to detect

by xyonent
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Whether you are buying a new or used home, having a thorough inspection is one of the most important things you can do.

However, not all potential buyers know how to spot a defective product.

As the name suggests, this is a property inspection, not a leisurely walk around.

Don’t feel pressured to rush into writing a review, and instead, look out for these 12 signs that the property you’re interested in may be a ticking time bomb.

1. Are there any cracks in the walls?

Small cosmetic cracks can be easily repaired, but if multiple larger cracks over 2mm wide are found then further investigation is required.

These could indicate structural problems that could cost thousands of dollars to fix.

2. Is there water damage or mold?

Take plenty of time to check out wet areas — don’t just admire the decorative tiles, but actually inspect them for signs of water damage, mold, or corrosion.

Be sure to check ceilings, corners, inside cabinets, and around pipes and sinks.

Rising damp is also a worrying issue and is often accompanied by a mouldy smell, so use all your senses when inspecting the home.

3. Don’t forget the ceiling

You can use a flashlight to check for defects in the ceiling.

Shining it upwards will reveal sagging areas that could be causing your roof to leak.

The last thing you want is for you or your tenants to have a piece of crumbling drywall falling on you while you’re reading the Sunday paper, so don’t skip this important step.


4. Go outside and upstairs to check your gutters and downspouts.

Old and broken gutters can cause a lot of damage to your property.

Not only should you check to see if your gutters are sturdy, but you should also check for signs of rust.

While you’re there, make sure all downspouts are working properly and are directing water into stormwater infiltration wells rather than pooling on the ground.

These can be quite expensive to replace or install, so check for signs of previous flooding in the area.

5. Turn on the tap

Open the taps in each room and check the water pressure and drainage.

Keep an eye out for cloudy colored water, which may indicate a problem with your pipes, as well as dripping water when you turn off the tap.

Plumbing work isn’t cheap and it’s not a job you can do yourself, so avoid properties that have issues in these areas.

6. Pay attention to surface cracks, steps, and door stiffness

These can all be indicators that the property is moving, which is not what you want.

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