Before you take over that new house, here is your checklist

Are you looking for a new house to live in? Well, there are several checks you need to make to ensure a pleasurable experience as a homeowner or as a tenant. Before your visit, request that the house is cleaned thoroughly. This will expose imperfections that are often hidden by layers of dust. Once on site, here are your top five things to look into:

1.Check the floors for sagging and cracks

The older the house, the more likely it is for the floor to develop problems.  Sometimes a house will aggressively settle, creating a hump in the middle. Also, a lousy plumbing job beneath the floor might cause leakages and sagging of the floor near the bathrooms. Deflections are costly to fix because you have to rip out the existing floor, find matching floor materials and finish it to match the original flooring. In some extreme cases, foundation work might also be needed especially for poorly done single dweller homes. Where the foundation or the support columns need reworking, avoid such properties like the Biblical plague

2. Check the walls for cracks

Spotting a crack in the wall is, unsurprisingly, not good. A crack in a masonry wall means there is movement and may be a sign of serious structural problems especially if the crack is horizontal or if it touches on any supporting columns. The problem is that most of the times the crack is bigger than it appears on the surface. Cracks suggest that you are more likely than not going to need immediate repairs. Be on the lookout for recently plastered walls that could be hiding crevices that will manifest months after you take over the property.

3. Test if electrical and plumbing are in good order

Electrical and plumbing issues will be hard to decipher with the naked eye. Is there a lot of exposed wiring? Does it look like it was installed correctly? Be very wary if the system hasn’t been checked in several years. For both electrical and plumbing matters, it’s a good idea to bring an expert along for a second walk-through. If you are lucky to get a hold of the plumber or electrician who has worked in the area or the specific house, you will gather invaluable information. If not, run all the taps and mixers for hot and cold water, check the switches and bulbs manually, inspect the mains control unit, bells and other items carefully.

4. Test fixtures for good workmanship

You can’t discover some of the things until you touch them or move them. These include hinges, drawers, cabinets, latches, bulbs among others. Open the doors and slide the drawers to check for flaws in the hinges or railings, some of which might require replacement. In particular, dust the granite top and fireplace to reveal any cracks.

5. Check for adequate source of water and storage

As it has been said again and again, water is life, and you can’t survive without a reliable source of water. Water can either be obtained from the mains supply or from a borehole in the property. Even with a reliable source of water, there are occasional shortages, caused by periodic repairs or blockages in the pipes. This necessitates having a means of storage, which will serve you during a water shortage. Once you identify a good house, take time to know the source of water and whether the storage tank will serve you adequately.

All in all

Every aspect of the house is important to check, but some of the things might cost you lots of money in future if you don’t discover them sooner. Engage professionals where necessary and experienced property agents to assist you in getting a good house. House purchase or rental is akin to a game of poker. The landlord and the seller don’t always want to reveal negative details about their ‘precious’ house. Remember that all the information you gather can be used to leverage lower prices and ultimately determine if to proceed with the deal or not.

Citiscape Valuers & Estate Agents Ltd has the best agents to guide you.

All the best in your search.

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