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The top 7 things to inspect when it comes to house hunting

When you’re inspecting a new home, it’s very easy to get swept away by pretty aesthetics, but you could be missing key flaws.

That sprawling, light-filled sunroom might be distracting you from narrow hallways, or poor water pressure. To make sure your new home meets your daily and future needs, here are our top 7 inspection tips to help you assess your potential new home like a pro.

1. Rooms and layout

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to carefully consider the number and configuration of the rooms. Got a growing family? Then you probably don’t want kid’s rooms right next to the living area. If there’s an odd-shaped room, can you see a functional way you could use it? Make sure there’s enough space for everyone to live comfortably.

2. Turn things off and on

From the light switches to the taps, you need to see how all these things work. If they’re not up to standard, replacing them could be an unwelcome (and unplanned) future expense. Check the water pressure and temperature, and check water quality too. Switch lights on and off to make sure they’re in good working order. Hey, why not take your phone charger with you to test out all of the outlets.

3. Check the insulation situation

Good insulation will save you a lot when it comes to keeping your home cool in summer and cosy in winter. In some properties, you might be able to pop up into a manhole to check the ceiling, but be sure to find out about the walls too. On the subject of climate control, where applicable, make sure any heating or air-conditioning units aren’t super old and potentially in need of replacing.

4. Keep your eyes peeled for expensive issues

Cracks in the walls, mould or peeling paint can point to a number of different issues. In fact, even a fresh coat of paint could mean the sellers are masking a larger problem. Make sure you inspect the house in good light, look out for discolouration or bubbling, and thoroughly check the basement, if there is one. Follow your nose – if there’s a musty smell it could be rising damp which can be an expensive structural problem to fix. Kitchen and bathrooms are the most costly rooms to upgrade, so check conditions of the tiles, tapware and look out for water stains.

5. Open and close everything!

Try the windows and check the doors – make sure they open and close easily. What are the pantries like? The bathroom and bedroom cupboards? Is there adequate storage space? Leave no stone unturned and no rusty hinge undiscovered.

6. Become a measuring maestro

Whether it’s your fridge, your bed or your favourite couch, make sure each room has the space you need for your things to fit within them. Don’t just measure the actual room, either. You’re going to have to factor in the width of stairs, doorways and hallways to make sure your new home can accommodate your beloved belongings.

7. Check out the neighbourhood

It’s not just the house you need to inspect. Your location is going to have a huge impact on how you live. Noisy neighbours, high traffic areas, new developments – all of these can contribute to unnecessary aggravation. So be clever – check out the house at night/on weekends and take a drive around the surrounding blocks of the neighbourhood, or even a walk. This is the best possible way you can ‘try before you buy’ when it comes to your new location.

Feeling inspection-ready? Have a look at our home loan rates to see how we could turn you from house hunter to home owner with our competitive rates.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature only. It doesn’t take account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice.