Open Home Inspections – What to Look For
The property market is hot and homes aren’t lasting long before being snapped up. If you’re looking to buy and visiting multiple open homes every weekend, it can all become a bit overwhelming trying to remember what each property looked like. But not taking your time to look around properly can lead you to offer, and potentially purchase, a home that may become a money pit.
While you will have the benefit of a building and pest inspection, you don’t want to get too far into the process and realise you’ve missed out on a great home because you didn’t inspect a not-so-great home thoroughly.
Potential buyers – get your notepads ready. We’ve put together some handy tips on what you should be looking for at your next open home inspection.
Mould, Damp and Water Stains
Mould, damp and water stains can all be indicative of a larger problem. As you walk around the home, check for mould and water stains on the ceilings (as this can indicate a leaky roof), and open cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom to see if there are any signs of mould or dampness which can indicate a water leak. Other areas you may find the mould and water stains are around the toilet, in the laundry and in the caulking in the shower and around basins.
Cracks in the Ceiling and Walls
Cracks come in two forms – fine cracking and large cracking. Fine cracks could be due to the plastering being done incorrectly at the time of construction and they can eventually cause the plaster to become loose and fall off.
Large cracks can be the result of building movement and can appear internally and externally. These cracks require further inspection by a building inspector if you go ahead with a contract on the property.
Downpipes and Gutters
Far too often downpipes and gutters aren’t maintained; they are left to overfill, go rusty and get damaged. While you can’t carry a ladder around to open homes with you, it is well worth looking up to see if you can spot any damage or rust to the guttering, as well as seeing if there are leaves or plants growing in the gutters. This could indicate that the gutters are blocked, which could cause water to overflow into the property.
When looking at downpipes, check that they are discharging into the correct drainage, and don’t have any holes in the pipes. You should also check, if possible, if the drainage is clear or blocked.
How Noisy Is It?
Noise levels are something that many people forget to check – how much traffic is going past? Can you hear the traffic from inside the property? Are there noisy neighbours? It’s a good idea to remember that open homes are held at optimal times – you may not get a great indication of how noisy the property is at 7am on a week day when you are inspecting at 10am on a Saturday.
If you are seriously considering placing an offer on the property, take the time to drive past at different times of the day, and night, to get a good indication of the noise levels.
What’s the Natural Light Like?
When you walk into an open home, the sales agent will more than likely have all the lights turned on to maximise lighting inside. This of course doesn’t give you a good idea of the natural light. If you can organise a private inspection at a different time of the day, you will be able to get a better idea of the levels of natural light. If not, look out for the placement of windows and how large they are.
Another consideration is which way the windows face. While a west-facing window might bring you plenty of light in the afternoon, there’s a good chance it’s going to heat up your home, so you’ll have the blinds or curtains closed anyway. Knowing which way the property is positioned and therefore which ways the windows face, you’ll get a good idea of whether you can use natural light to your advantage or whether you’ll need to use internal lighting.
There are plenty of things to look out for when attending an open home. Make a list of your must-have and your like-to-have features and keep those in mind. Buying a home is a large investment and something you certainly don’t want to get wrong.
If you’re ready to buy a new home, but you aren’t sure where to start, Thank You Real Estate has a team of Buyers Agents who can take the stress out of looking for your new home. Contact us today to find out more.