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Empower Wealth Blog post by Empower Wealth

Top 5 Aspects to Look at during a Property Inspection

If you are in the process of finding a property and if you are attending inspections quite regularly, you need to know what to look for. A good inspection will lead to a better understanding on the property and hence, can save you a lot of time, energy and even money. But the question remains: what should you pay attention to? Here are the top 5 aspects to look at during a Property Inspection.

  1. Location: Is the property in a location with good capital growth prospects, close to public transport and shopping facilities? It is advisable to do a drive through around the suburb and walk around specific streets within that location as all suburbs have more and less desirable streets in which to live in. If you are looking for an investment property or if you are planning to buy a family home, pay attention to the availability of local schools. Some renters and buyers will buy a property located in a certain street that is within the boundary of a particular school for which to send their children to.
  1. Street appeal: When looking at a potential new home or attending an open for inspection, stand back across the road and take a good long look at the property. Look at the construction, is it a brick or weatherboard, does it have a street appeal? Is it lower than the road, how is the driveway looking, what type of roof is it compared to the neighbouring properties, and looking at the fences, are they well kept? If something is not right, ask yourself what can be done to improve it. If you are seriously considering a property, knock on the doors of the neighbouring properties, not just one but all of them, and ask about the area, the street and even the schools. It can be amazing what information you will uncover by investing half an hour of your time before you commit to spend half a million dollars, a million dollars or more. Most importantly, take the time to find out about any recent planning approvals given to any high density development within close proximity.
  1. Construction: The large majority of homes constructed within most parts of Australia are either Brick or Weatherboard. Brick/brick veneer properties built from the mid 1950’s are usually based upon a brick footings, timber floor, timber frame, and a concrete tile or terracotta tile roof. In recent years there has been a shift toward concrete slab foundations, timber frame or steel frame, brick veneer walls, concrete tile roof or colour bond roof with aluminium or timber windows. Different types of construction require their own unique treatment and maintenance. So it’s crucial that you are comfortable with them. For example, the majority of older inner city style dwellings comprise mainly of timber weatherboard homes and typically upon timber floors and stumps which
    require reblocking or restumping, timber windows which require replacement and corrugated iron roofs which rust and develop leaks. These dwellings are very maintenance intensive and require constant painting and upkeep, but when maintained properly and to high level standards these types of properties are absolutely stunning.
  1. Interior: Once you inspect the exterior of the property you should be looking at the condition of the floors, interior walls, ceilings and quality of paint. In areas like the kitchen, look at the types and quality of appliances and ask if they are working and functioning properly. Similarly, when inspecting the bathroom, check if the bathroom quality of fixtures and fittings are acceptable, is there a bath and a separate toilet? Check if light fittings and window furnishings are there. Often when people are looking through a property, they would comment about how bright and light it is but failed to realise that the reason it was so was because it was a beautiful sunny day and the window furnishings were non-existent. On top of that, what type of heating and or cooling is installed and is it adequate? Walk through to the rear yard, see what type of fences are there and who is your rear neighbour if you are buying this property (we all know the old saying what is lurking over the back fence).
  1. Other components: Lastly you must consider all of the items that are less obvious because they cannot be seen. These are important items like plumbing, electrical, guttering, roof, underfloor (if applicable), roof space, foundations and sub floor. It is for this reason you should NEVER purchase a property without having a qualified building and pest inspection carried out either prior to making an offer to purchase or at the very least, as a condition in the contract. If you are buying in auction, always request a building and pest inspection prior to the auction date.

 

These five aspects are just a small snapshot of the type of items that really need to be considered during a property inspection. The reason a lot of clients engage our services as qualified Buyers Agents is to consider not only these but also all of the other items that require the same level of investigation both on a macro and micro level. We will also recommend other professional services required when buying property such as solicitors, building inspectors and will offer help when selecting the right property manager to manage your new investment property.

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