Become a Property Sleuth: Learn How to Detect the Defects

Purchasing property can be a testing time for many. What to buy? Where to buy? How to mortgage? When to Buy? All of these are relevant questions and genuine concerns when purchasing. The secret of success is to educate yourself and become a property sleuth. This doesn’t necessarily mean becoming an expert. It does mean, however, that you need to learn what to specifically look for when purchasing property.Purchasing houses differs from purchasing vacant land or units and apartments. Each had the potential for certain defects that can potentially cause nightmares further down the track.

Top Tips for Detecting Defects when Purchasing Units or Apartments.

  1. Concrete Cancer – Yes! There really is such a thing, and it can be costly to repair. Look for bumps in concrete floors and order a strata report. Repairs can be around $5,000 per unit.
  2. External Concrete Balconies – On occasions steel re-enforcement may have been placed too close to the surface during construction. This can cause rust stains to appear on the surface of the balcony floor.
  3. Cracking To Brickwork – Cracking to brick work that is HORIZONTAL or DIAGONAL up the wall can spell trouble. It is generally an indication of movement within the building possibly due to inadequate footing. If you can put a finger in the crack then walk away. It is far too significant.

Top Tips for Detecting Defects when Purchasing Houses.

  1. Deflections In Rooflines – This can be the result of a poorly framed roof, the use of “green” timbers at time of construction and/or structural movement.
  2. Sagging Ceilings – Can be the result of a lack of adhesion material at time of construction or exposure to pooling water.
  3. Rising Damp – In a double brick property look at the wall finish from floor to ceiling noting any colour differences or patching.
  4. Retaining Walls – Examine retaining walls for signs of movement or a build up of moisture.
  5. Springy Floorboards – This can be a sign of poor workmanship, a sunken pier or termite damage.

Buyers are always advised to obtain a pest and building report from a qualified tradesman prior to committing to the property and unit buyers should always obtain a strata report.

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