Despite the consumer laws we have to protect buyers from unfairly losing money, some people still make poor purchasing decisions by their own choice. When it comes to buying real estate properties, for example, building inspections can identify major problems such as structural defects. Some buyers, however, elect to bypass these to save money, and find out after settlement that the property needs expensive repairs.
Our agency, Position One Property, recommends that purchasers protect their interests by doing thorough checks before settlement. In a competitive market, buyers might be tempted to place a deposit without detailed inspections, but there is protection as the law supports conditional contracts. Finance approvals and satisfactory building inspections are the most common conditions, and if these are not met, the contracts become void.
Check for the Presence of Asbestos
So what are some of the issues we recommend you check before deciding to purchase a property? The big one is the presence of asbestos. Asbestos materials were used extensively in homes from the 1940s to the late 1980s in Queensland. The sheeting was used for roofing as well as to cover walls and ceilings, especially in wet areas like kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. These materials pose no threat to health if they are in good condition, but if they need to be removed, an asbestos specialist must be used, which can be expensive.
Damp Smells Can Point to Leaks
Moisture inside the house is usually the sign of a leak that can be difficult to trace and repair. We realise it is hard to check thoroughly when you are looking through someone else’s house, but opening the cabinet doors in the wet areas should reveal any musty or damp smells. Also look for water stains on the walls or ceilings, which could be caused by a leaking roof or the pipes inside the wall cavity.
Mould a Common Problem
Another common problem, especially in a sub-tropical climate, is mould. It is most prevalent in bathrooms and bedrooms, especially if they are on the southern side of the house. Mould is another sign that moisture is seeping inside somewhere, and the search for its source, and the subsequent repairs will be costly.
Identify Areas of Poor Maintenance
Other quick checks you can make on a walk around are for large cracks in the walls, downpipes that are not connected to the storm water drain system, roof lines that are not straight, and poorly maintained fencing.
Buying property is a major financial commitment so you need to be sure that you have protected your interests before you sign any sales contracts. The Position One Property sales team are happy to arrange additional property inspections if you need to check specific details.