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The Experts Talk: What You should Really Look for when Viewing Property.

November 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(  When you’re looking around for a new home, you’re sure to feel excited – you’re planning to make some serious life changes, after all. Maybe you’ve seen some pictures in which your prospective home looks great – but don’t act too fast. You want to make sure you inspect the home carefully so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises in the future.

Here’s the good news: there are plenty of professionals who are willing to give you some great advice on which steps you should take, and what you should watch out for. Are you looking for a new home? The experts talk: here’s what you should look for when viewing property.

The obvious checks

You’ll have to go through the ordinary checks, of course; things like making sure the doors and windows open properly and that there are no cracks on the wall. Turn on the lights, check the electrical switches, monitor water pressure, and so on. These are the things we usually do – and they are necessary.

What to look for

There are, however, many issues that should be addressed before you get a full picture, as an expert building surveyor would know. Here are some of the things you need to look out for:

  • Signs of rust. The air conditioning, the heater, or other large appliances may show signs of rust – which are signs of poor maintenance. Perhaps other areas of the house have been poorly maintained as well.
  • Behind the furniture. Sometimes furniture is staged to hide flaws; bad sockets or cracks in the wall. Don’t be afraid to move the furniture and check behind it.
  • More sales in the area? It may be an economic problem in the area, or it may be that there are lots of floods. If there are many ‘for sale’ signs in the neighbourhood, ask yourself why.
  • The roof. It’s difficult to check well, but go to the attic and inspect the roof. Are all shingles in good condition and in place?
  • Hollow doors. Hollow doors may be a sign that the owner used cheap materials. Knock on the door and listen; does it sound hollow?
  • Use your nose. Smell is powerful. Are there signs of mould?

There’s one more thing you should check. Go into the cellar and see if you find traces of water at the base of the walls. If there is, it could be coming from the ground through cracks, or it might simply be a grading issue due to faulty landscaping – an engineer should be able to determine the problem and advise you on how much it would cost to fix. When inspecting your future home, take your time and be thorough.

Staff Writer; Carla Moore

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