Important details to check when buying a home

Buying a new home is an exciting process, but don't be blinded by first impressions. Here are a few key elements to check before taking the plunge.

Important details to check when buying a home

Underfloor ventilation

Check that there are underfloor vents. They are desirable in all properties with suspended floors, but are essential under wood floors. A wood-framed and wood-clad house will often be open all the way around, providing excellent ventilation.

Electrical outlets and wiring

  • If the property has electricity connected, check that the house has sufficient power outlets for your needs.
  • Have a look in the fuse box to see how many circuits there are. You cannot always count on all power outlets being connected.
  • If power is supplied by a generator make sure it works, ask about its service history and the running costs.
  • Inquire about any natural gas installation on the property.

Water

  • Water may or may not be connected, depending on where the property is.
  • If town water is available it does not necessarily mean it is potable; the supply may be supplemented by tank water for drinking.
  • Check that the supply has sufficient pressure to operate a washing machine.
  • Where corrugated steel rainwater-collection tanks are installed, check carefully for any evidence of rust. Look inside the tanks if you can. Concrete tanks should be checked for wet spots or patches.
  • Turn on taps to see if there is any loud banging that could indicate water hammer.
  • Flush the toilet to see if the cistern works properly and that there are no leaks.

Sewage

  • Find out what septic system you have, whether it is a pump-out system or if the effluent goes into absorption trenches. Pumping-out means ongoing expense and breakdowns can be expensive to repair.
  • Sniff around for smells that could indicate problems.
  • Run some water into sinks to see if it gets away quickly; if water is slow to drain the waste-water system may be in need of expensive renewal.

Doing these quick checks could save you headaches and thousands of dollars in repairs  later on.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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