Things To Look Out For When Viewing A Property

adciti December 5, 2020

Things To Look Out For When Viewing A Property

Avoid buyers’ remorse by thoroughly checking for possible problems before signing an offer to purchase.

Spending weeks or even months looking at properties to buy can be very hectic. However, you could miss some possible defects that will lead to regret in the long run.

In your enthusiasm to sign an offer to purchase, there are things to look out for when viewing a property. This is important to ensure everything is what it seems. Although sellers are legally obliged to declare any known defects, but some problems might only become visible once you have moved in.

What to do before signing an offer to purchase.

Visit the property on several occasions at different times of the day as well as over weekends and during the week. This will give you a good indication of noise levels, what vehicular traffic is like in the area, as well as the type of pedestrians who pass by.

You also need to make a list of things to look out when viewing a property that could make your purchase a nightmare instead of a dream home. Defects like leaking roofs, damp walls and ceilings and rotten shelves in cupboards can be costly to repair.

Things To Look Out For When Viewing A Property.

  • Damp walls and ceilings could indicate a damaged roof or other water leaks. Check all interior and exterior walls for bubbling paint or cracks where water could find its way into the home. Also look for signs of fresh paint. This might have been applied to hide spots that have not been attended to.
  • Wall tiles – Check for loose and discoloured grouting as well as bulging tiles, which may indicate damp on the underlying walls.
  • Wet spots in the lawn or flower beds could indicate broken underground water or sewerage pipes. This could have a huge impact on your utilities bills, and over time could cause the ground to subside. Damaged sewerage pipes are also a health hazard, as raw sewage would leak into your lawn and flower beds.
  • Check all paintwork carefully, along with varnish on any wooden windows and doors. Painting a home is a costly exercise, so you don’t want to have to budget for that for a good few years.
  • Wooden windows – Check that the panes are intact and and needs no replacement.
  • Toilets – Check that the flush mechanism works properly, and that water completely stops running after each flush. Also check for leaks behind the toilet.
  • Taps – Check that they open easily and close completely. Leaking taps can result in thousands of litres of potable water running down the drain. Apart from the cost, South Africa is short of water and every drop is precious.
  • Cabinets under wash basins and kitchen sinks – Check for mould and water-damaged shelves.
  • Cupboards – Check that doors are in good condition and that they open and close properly. Check for mould and foul odours. Replacing door hinges and shelves on all cupboards is expensive, so this is something you really need to investigate.
  • Doors – Check that doors open and close easily, that handles are in good condition and that all locks have keys that work properly. Also check whether doorjambs need attention.
  • Flooring – Ensure that tiles are in good condition, and that grouting is intact. Check carpets for undue wear and mould spots. Check laminated floors for scuff marks and scratches, and make sure vinyl flooring is in good condition.
  • Window coverings – If blinds are fixtures, make sure that they have all necessary attachments and that controls are in working condition. Also check that pelmets and curtain rails are properly attached and in good order.
  • Electrical outlets – Make sure that all wall plugs are installed with properly secured covers.
  • Outbuildings – Make sure wendy houses and other outbuildings are in good condition, that there are no roof leaks, rotten floor planks or windows and doors falling off their hinges.
  • Garages – Check the roof for leaks. Make sure that remote-controlled doors are in working order. If the garage has precast walls, make sure you can put up the shelving you had in mind, as some precast walls don’t accommodate nails, screws or rawl bolts.
  • Walls, fences and gates – Check that walls and fences are sturdy and secure. Make sure gates open and close easily and can be secured.

What Options Do I Have?

If the home you want to buy has some or all of these defects, you could still make an offer subject to the seller putting the faults to rights. Alternatively, you could estimate the cost of repairs and put in a lower offer.

If the seller refuses to budge, your best option is to walk away from the deal and keep looking for a home that really meets your needs.

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