When it comes to new home inspections, it can be easy to get swept up in the excitement of a walk-in wardrobe and miss those water stains or dodgy drainage.
But if you don’t know what to look for when inspecting a house, it could end up costing you thousands in repairs down the track.
Avoid buying a lemon and keep an eye out for these common concerns and defects during your new home inspections.
A beautifully decorated interior is no match for mould and other issues. Look past the scented candles and strategically placed rugs for these red flags.
Cracks in Walls - This can be a sign of movement, and the bigger the cracks, the more the property has moved – and the more it’ll cost to fix in the long-run.
Doors that Stick - This can be another sign of movement, so don’t hesitate to open and close every door in the home to make sure they do so smoothly.
Sagging or ‘Springy’ Floors - If you feel the floor or staircase ‘bouncing’ beneath you as you walk, this could be a sign of termite damage.
Water Stains - What may appear as ‘normal’ wear-and-tear can actually be a sign of water leaks. Look for water stains, paint damage, and corrosion, especially near showers and baths.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to look inside cupboards and drawers for water stains and damage!
Mould - Mould isn’t just restricted to the bathroom, so check each room thoroughly. This can indicate a ventilation problem and can cost a hefty fee to be properly removed by professionals.
Cracked and Lifting Tiles - Tiles that have cracks or appear to be lifting from the floor or wall can be a sign of water damage from leaky plumbing.
Outdated Wiring - Old electrical wiring can be a recipe for disaster. Old-fashioned light switches can be a dead giveaway of wiring that needs updating.
A home’s exterior can too often be granted a thumbs-up without a proper inspection. But if structural damage and other problems remain hidden, you could be out of pocket thousands down the track. Look out for these issues to avoid disappointment.
Damaged Roof Gutters - Rust, warping, and holes in roof gutters can lead to overflow and bigger problems. These can be expensive to replace, so it’s best to pick up on any issues prior to making a purchase.
Missing or Damaged Roof Tiles - Check for missing, cracked, or sliding roof tiles. If the roof is bowed, it could be a sign of a structural issue.
Bad Drainage - Wet or muddy patches in the yard can nod toward bad drainage. The last thing you want is for your lawn to turn into a swamp whenever it rains.
Top Tip: If possible, visit the property during a heavy downpour to see how the water flows.
Wobbly Railings - The railings on stairs and decks should be secure and in good condition. Wobbly and damaged railings aren’t just unattractive; they’re also a safety hazard.
Damaged Fences or Sheds - Check all exterior structures such as fences, sheds, and retaining walls for evidence of termites or rotted wood.
5 Quick Tips For New Home Inspections
Take someone with you who has either recently bought a property themselves or has experience in this area. A second set of eyes can pick up on things you may have missed.
Make a list of things to look for so you don’t forget – or print this article.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – that’s what the agent is there for. Whether you’d like to see a recent soil and survey report or you’re wondering if the seller has made any renovations, asking questions doesn’t just give you some clarification; it also shows the agent you’re genuinely interested.
Take photos of any issues to refer back to later – and for proof if you intend to bring them up with the agent or owner.
Hire a professional home inspector if you’re really serious about the property. This is the best way to thoroughly check the entire property for any issues.