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Basic 9 Point Defect Checklist Before Buying A House
There is no amateur substitute to a professional home inspector. But hiring one to take a look at every house that interest you can be a huge expense to bear.
You are not going to buy up every house that you fancy anyway.
But here are some things you can do before determining if a potential buy is worthy of the expense for a professional home inspection.
1) Request for the council building certificate and a survey
Granted, not every homeowner will be able to dig one out. But should you obtain it, the recency of these documents can show whether the property is being up kept to the standards that the authorities impose.
2) Don’t ignore obvious problems
You can probably ignore minor defects like peeling paint or flickering light bulbs.
But you should not turn a blind eye to obvious questionable defects such as massive wall and floor cracks, water seepage on ceilings and walls, corroded gutters, poor drainage, pest infestations, etc.
You don’t need to be an expert to discover these problems.
3) The most expensive areas in a house to renovate is the kitchen and bathrooms
Check for proper drainage by pouring water on the floor of bathrooms, look for leaks in plumbing under the sink.
And if you intend to keep the built-in cupboards in both areas, open all of them to check the condition of doors and interior fittings.
Kitchen fixtures are very prone to wear and tear. And the odds are that every house will have a beaten down kitchen.
The question is how bad is it?
Switch on the air-conditioner, test all taps and sink drainage, give the stove a go, and the electrical fireplace while you are at it.
Repairs for non-functional utilities can really give your checkbook a beating. This is definitely one area that you should give more considerable thought to.
5) A shrewd seller will only conduct open houses when the elements are in his favor
This means that will never hear an aeroplane that make their daily flypast, smell the aroma coming from the nearby dumpster, witness the horrific traffic problem during peak hours, or the scorching afternoon sun that comes in in the late afternoons.
So you might want to make at least 2 to 3 visits to a house at different times and days just to make sure you don’t miss out any material issues.
This can be especially important when you are buying commercial property like retail space. Human traffic for example, can unpredictable.
6) Take a look at the helio of the house
This is a document that supposedly shows the sewage blueprint.
Should you find things that are not supposed to be there, they could very well be illegal modifications.
Sometimes, people do these things to save money and hassle. You need to know them nevertheless as you might run into trouble with authorities in future because of them.
7) Check the master plan for the area
You could feel like a fool should you buy a house and realize a week later from a press release that a nuclear plant nearby will commence building in 2 months.
You want to avoid disasters like this by making that all important trip down to City Hall for the master plans.
You are looking to avoid industrial activities, major road construction works, underground cabling, etc.
8) Take note of the unsightly fixtures you will replace
Everyone has different taste.
You probably can’t wait to get that ugly feature wall replaced as soon as you buy that house.
Or the exotic shower heads current in use.
Write down all the stuff that you deem necessary to replace.
This is an essential step so that you can estimate a cost to remodel the place. You can then use those numbers for negotiation.
9) Many things can be fixed in expensively as long as you know your sources
The primary concerns are those on structural problems, foundation damage, sewage issues, roof replacements, etc.
These are things that are costly to fix, and in some cases, impossible to rectify. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal when something just don’t feel right.