So you believe you had just discovered your dream house. First off—congratulations! Through recognising a property that resonates with your individuality, you have just taken the first step into your home buying journey. In your excitement, you might have already congratulated your agent for finding “the right one”, because the photographs in your last email exchange looked promising. Then, there’s the positive tone to the seller’s voice when you agreed to meet on the phone. But hold on! Before you go further, you need to look out for warning signs that could potentially ruin it all.
That’s right, you need to inspect the house you’re intending to buy! And by inspecting, we mean scanning the every nook and corner and looking into every detail, inside and out. There’s always more than meets the eye, and you would want to make sure that the huge amount of money you’re about to spend is worth it. No one likes to make a big purchase only to find out it doesn’t live up to his expectations. So when you’re going for the site visit, remember to look out for the following warning signs before signing your name onto the property.
1. A damaged roof
The roof is the first indicator of a personal property’s ability to shelter. A dream house is nothing but a mere case of smokes and mirrors if it cannot fulfil this simple requirement. Depending on the extent of the damage, a leaking, crack roof indicates material fatigue, not to mention, negligence on the owner’s part if he can allow the damage to linger. If you spot this, be prepared to point it out, or risk forking a lot of money for later repairs. Even if the roof doesn’t seem to show signs of wear, you should still ask the owner how old it is. A well-installed roof should last for decades.
2. A funky odour
Think of plumbing as the digestive system of a house. When not taken care of, malfunction happens, resulting in mould, build-ups, mildew, or worst, water contamination. While these damages might not immediate to the eyes, they are not hard to smell. It is important that you take note of any musky odours, when inspecting a potential house. Some owners might get sneaky and try to conceal it with the smell of air fresheners or fresh-baked pastries, so if the perimeters smell too good as well during the visit, it’s a sign to keep checking! If you suspect bad plumbing is at hand, it’s always a good idea to schedule another tour. Bring along a third party such as a friend or a family member to help you identify.
3. Pest infestations
Take a hard look at the house’s flooring, panelling, and everything with wood in them. Do they look well maintained? Or are there holes, ugly marks, or signs of decay? These are all signs of a pest infestation. Also check for possible traces of ants, especially around the kitchen area. An infestation might seem small a factor, but trust us, it will become a big headache once you have to be the one dealing with it later. It’s best to be sure of any bug problems now. Also, always ask your agent for a termite check report.
4. Lopsided additions
This warning sign is especially important when considering a landed property. Does the house look well designed, or does it look like a series of disjointed additions and parts pieced together? It could be that some rooms are not aligned well, or their ceiling is poorly made, showing various building materials. Done well, renovated additions can add a lot of value to a property. But when they are not, the result will eventually show in the future in the form of cracks, badly wired circuits, or worse, material fatigue. Therefore, always make it a point to ask your agent about the detailed history of the house.
5. Bad neighbourhood
Now the area where a house might be in, might not seem like the most important thing— as long as your dream house is foolproof, right? Wrong. It’s crucial that your future living environment facilitates safety and a sense of community. Do not let the dreaminess of a house blindside you from researching the area you’re considering to live in. Take note of any crime rates. Make the effort of screening your neighbours. Drive by at the neighbourhood on different days, and if possible, have a chat with a community member to gauge how they feel about living there. You do not want to purchase a home only to find out later that it sits in a hostile environment.
If you are looking for that dream house, you might want to use Bumbung.co and our network of trusted agents and verified listings to avoid surprises.