Are you on the market for buying a new home? If you are looking to buy, there are a few things you should be on the look out for during your walk through with a real estate agent.
Many of these warning signs would be identified by one of our qualified building inspectors and added to the building inspection report, however if you are able to see these problems in the first instance it will save you precious time and money.
1. Existing Termite Damage
Unless you are prepared to pay a substantial sum of money for repair work and the inevitable follow up treatments, purchasing a house with existing termite damage is a bad idea.
One of the fastest and most common ways that termite damage can be covered up is using a fresh coat of paint.
While looking around a house, if you notice only certain rooms or specific areas that have been newly painted, it is possible that there is some repaired termite/mould damage hidden underneath.
Although a Building & Pest inspection is required to fully identify existing termite activity, you can be aware that there may be some damage and consider looking at a different house or getting a pest inspection report prior to buying.
2. Some Areas Are Off Limits
The whole idea of an open house inspection is to let prospective buyers see what is inside and get an idea as to the condition of the dwelling.
If you notice that there are areas that have been locked away or blocked off such as manholes, roof/crawl spaces or built in cupboards, it could be that the owner is attempting to hide existing damage or a known structural issue.
Some people do just like to have their privacy (even if they are selling a house) so don’t take this as a certain sign to pull out. Make a point of asking the real estate agent to ensure that these areas are accessible when you book your building inspection. It is vital that your inspector is able to access the entire property to ensure you get an accurate & comprehensive report.
3. Moisture & Damp Areas
Moisture issues such as water intrusion, rot or mould often cause a musty/mildew type smell as well as peeling paint.
Sometimes these smells can be hidden using air fresheners or other homely cover ups such as baking, brewing fresh coffee or burning incense.
A building inspector will be able to test the moisture levels of the house to discover any problems or damage that may have been masked by these smells or hidden from sight.
4. The Illusion Of Space
There are many known techniques to make a room look or feel larger than it really is such as mirrors, fold up or multi-functional furniture, painting walls with light hues & the ceiling with a dark colour.
Be sure to assess the actual size of the rooms in square metres and compare it to the place that you currently live. This will give you a much better idea of the actual size of a space.
5. Noise & Natural Light
A noisy neighbourhood can make a real difference for a home, as can a lack of natural lighting.
While undertaking your open home it is good practice to open the blinds and see how much natural light can get into each room and also open the windows to listen for any traffic noise, loud neighbours or planes/trains.
If you find a house that you are serious about buying it is advisable to come back and try to revisit the house at different times of the day. Open house time slots are usually planned to fall outside of peak traffic times so that you won’t notice any busy roads.
Other Things To Consider:
Buying a house on the Gold Coast can be tricky because the region is home to a few different types of environment. It is important to consider the implications that each environment can have on a house such as:
Naturally the beach culture & ocean side living is a large aspect of the Gold Coast lifestyle and is especially prevalent in suburbs such as Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach & Broadbeach. Houses located in a coastal area can be affected by varying degrees of salt deterioration. This is especially prevalent in buildings which are over 50 years old but can also effect houses of a lesser age. Some of the main problems that are caused by salt deterioration include: deteriorating brickwork/mortar, rusted wall ties, cracks/holes in roof tiling & delignification of structural timbers.
The Gold Coast is also home to suburbs nested in the Hinterland areas such as Nerang, Mudgeeraba, Mt. Tamborine, Mt. Nathan & Cedar Creek. Houses located in the Hinterland areas are more prone to having problems with pests, distance from shops/public transport and also issues with flooding such as having access cut off in the event of heavy rain or a flood. Living on acreage can be a different experience to a traditional suburban house and brings with it a higher demand for maintenance.
Some of the busier urban areas of the Gold Coast include Bundall, Southport, Coomera & Helensvale. These suburbs are more likely to be affected by issues surrounding peak times of the day such as smog, excessive noise and very busy roads. Crime rates can also be higher in the busier suburbs. If you are looking at buying in one of these suburbs, it is important to visit your prospective property at different times of the day so you can experience both the peak times and the quiet times.
Other Useful Resources:
If you have checked out all of the above points and are still interested in buying your prospective house, you should speak to us about doing a professional building inspection report.
Allow an experienced professional to inspect the house for things like structural damage, moisture problems, and pest/termite infestations. We service the Gold Coast & Brisbane producing thorough, concise and user friendly building & inspection reports.