Nail that property inspection
It pays to have your smarts about you when attending an open home. Your due diligence will be well rewarded, whether or not you decide to make the property your own.
Rate the essentials
Having a system when attending inspections will allow you to more easily compare one property with another. Despite your best intentions, they can start to all blur together after you’ve seen a few so it can help to have a checklist at each. Write a list of key elements, such as kitchen, bathroom, living areas, master bedroom, other bedrooms, laundry, parking and outdoor areas. Give each a rating out of 10 during your inspection, then add up the total before you head off. This is a quick and easy way to track your first impressions of a property, and will help you decide whether to return for a second inspection.
Look for flaws
Whether you’re someone with a sunny disposition or tend to be more of a pessimist, your nature should not affect how you assess a property. By all means, take into account the feel of a house or apartment when you first walk in but then it’s time to put on your game face and play hard ball. Look carefully for signs of structural or water damage, consider the condition of the kitchen, bathroom, flooring, windows and doors, as well as any built-in cabinetry. Don’t forget to scrutinise the exterior for peeling paintwork, cracks in bricks, paving or concrete, and the condition of any painted trim – these can give you a good indication of how well a property has been maintained and whether there are any underlying problems.
Will it suit your lifestyle?
Property inspections are the time to get real about how you really live. If you and your partner or family members have numerous gadgets between you that all need charging, pay attention to how many powerpoints there are. If cooking is a big part of your life, how does the kitchen measure up? Mad about surfing? How long will it take you to get to the beach? If any of you are sensitive to sound, listen out for noise pollution from traffic, barking dogs or aircraft – it could have a major impact on your quality of life. If the garden looks neat and well kept, you may not pay it much mind during an inspection. Consider the work needed to keep the garden looking this good, however. If gardening isn’t your thing, this may not be the property for you.
In Sydney, a beautiful vista can be enough to sell a property, whether the view is of the harbour, ocean or peaceful leafy outlook. Just be sure to check whether that view has the potential to change in the future. A neighbour’s trees may be removed, an apartment building may go up, a shopping centre may be built. Check with council about regulations and any proposed developments that may have an impact.
Inspect the inspections
In a slower market, pest and building inspections are often carried out by the vendor to save you the trouble. In the case of apartments, there may also be a strata report available. If you’re serious about purchasing a property, however, be sure to get your own inspections done to make sure any serious flaws are highlighted and that an apartment building has been well managed.
What will your energy bills be like?
Take into account cross-ventilation, natural light, aspect and building materials when assessing how much cooling or heating will be required to keep the home comfortable. Is there adequate shading from the western sun for the hot summer months? Does the home have air-conditioning or ducted heating? Is it powered by electricity or gas?
If the property ticks most of the boxes on your must-have list and raises no initial red flags, great! Just be sure the first inspection isn’t your last. Request a second and even a third open-home during the week and at different times of day to really get an accurate picture of whether this is the purchase for you.
Want to find out what your home might be worth?
Our agents can provide a free appraisal of your home in person or online to give you an indication of what your home might be worth in the current market.