Many people looking to buy homes are okay with purchasing a fixer-upper property if they are getting it at a lower price. A cursory inspection may lead them to believe that the only thing the house needs is some minor carpentry work, and maybe a fresh coat of paint and some other cosmetic enhancements.
While many prospective property owners hire professional building and pest inspectors to inspect the property for structural faults and pest infestations, many feel the additional expense to be a burden. But this can prove to be a big mistake.
There are times when a property will have major faults and problems that cannot be identified by a simple visual inspection by you or a novice inspector. There are certain common problems that older properties have such as:
#1 Foundation problems
A foundation problem isn’t as uncommon as many people believe it to be. If you notice any unevenness in the floor, it could be an indication that the foundation of the structure needs major repairs. The other more noticeable signs of weak foundations are jammed windows or doors and windows that stick or don’t lock properly. This indicates a sinking foundation in that spot.
A concrete foundation can become impacted by concrete rot or there can be erosion in the soil beneath it too. It’s pretty easy to detect concrete rot – just poke a screwdriver into some portion of the concrete. If it is very easy to remove that’s an indication of a major problem. Cracks in the foundation indicate that the concrete is sinking. This makes it important to hire a structural engineer to inspect and assess the condition of the foundation.
#2 A leaking roof structure
The roof is a very important aspect of any home structure. If the roof is leaking, a complete replacement may sometimes be the only solution. It’s important to get a building inspector to assess the condition of the roof. If all it needs is some minor repairs and maintenance, the discounted price of the house may be well worth it. But if a full roof replacement is the only solution for a severely deteriorated roof, you may want to give that deal a miss.
#3 Decades-old wiring
Complete wiring replacement can be very expensive and unless the house you are planning to buy is decades old, you won’t have to do this at all. If you are considering buying a home that’s over 20 years old, it’s best to get a licensed electrician to inspect the wiring and give you a report on its condition. While it’s hazardous to have older wiring in your home, the property may not even have the larger number of electrical outlets you need.
The circuits should be able to support the heavy power usage that most modern electrical appliances and devices demand. This also means you need to get the main switchboard and fuses replaced with circuit breakers etc. All of this can amount to a major expense and you need to factor this into the lower price you would be paying for an older property.
#4 Termite infestations
Termites are a major problem in many homes across Australia. These creatures are silent intruders that can cause extensive damage to the timber features on a property within a very short period of time. Severe termite damage can be prohibitively expensive to fix and a pest inspection by a professional can help identify whether there is an active infestation on the property or even if there is any damage.
The best way to avoid all these problems and expenses is to get a building and pest inspection done before signing on the dotted line. If you want to know more about Inspect It First‘s building and pest inspection services, don’t hesitate to call us at 1300 557 047 or contact us through our contact form.
Thanks for reading,
Inspect It First Team
1300 557 047