7 Things To Check At The First Inspection
5 MINUTE READ…
First inspections matter!
If you’re house hunting for a new home or an investment property, it’s no secret that a first impression will play a part in whether you decide to go for a particular property or not.
Sellers’ agents are forever encouraging their sellers to put a big effort into presenting their homes in the right way for potential buyers.
After all, this could be the difference between a quick sale for the right money, or the property sitting on the market going stale.
These days, many sellers are even going as far as professionally styling their homes so that a buyer can visualise how the place can look at it’s very best.
And believe you me… The right furniture placed in the right spots throughout a home can really make a difference!
The trouble is, unsuspecting buyers often fall in love with the styling package rather than the home itself (much to the delight of sellers and their agents).
After all, this is the goal for owners, and when styling is done right, a great result often follows!
As a buyer, the trick is to look past the pretty furniture and mentally move it out of the room with your eyes.
You want to see the property for what it actually is, so you can make a realistic decision on whether it could be right for you.
When I’m inspecting a property for the first time, other than remove any styling pieces in my mind like I’ve described above, one of the very first things I do is get an overall “feel” for the place.
That is, I take it all in.
Sure, I’ll consider the styling and how the home presents, but I’ll also look at the neighbourhood, the street scape, the next door neighbouring houses, the property itself (minus any pretty styling), and how I generally “feel” when I’m there.
Does the neighbourhood seem sketchy, or do you get a feel that it’s family friendly?
Are there bomby cars cluttering the street or is the road nice and wide with ample off-street parking?
Here’s a good one - how does the house smell?
Is it inviting, or do you want to walk straight back out the door you came in?
Does it seem like a pet has lived on the property because there’s dog fur everywhere?
What is the overall condition of the house?
Is the inside a mess because the tenants didn’t bother to clean up after last night’s boozy party? Or is it spotless and tidy?
Does the place look “rough”.
For example, is it easy to spot obvious maintenance or shoddy paint work or repairs?
When I first inspect a property for a client, there is a conscious list I check off in my head of things to check and look out for.
Here’s the top 7 items I look at.
1. I turn on the taps and check for leaks and blockages in the sinks.
2. I check the driveway, patio and paths for obvious cracks.
3. I look down at the flooring - are the floorboards heavily scratched or are there chips in the tiles? Does the carpet have any obvious stains or burn marks?
4. I look for structures on the property that could require council approval, such as sheds, carports and patios.
5. I take a quick glance at the fencing to see if it’s upright or on a lean.
6. I look up at the guttering to see if it’s rusted or broken in places.
7. I ask if there is a pool compliance certificate if the property or the complex has a private or shared pool.
Essentially, here’s what you need to ask yourself…
are there any obvious DEAL BREAKERS present for you?
For example, I recently inspected a cute little house on Brisbane’s southside and everything about it was fairly well spot on for my client, EXCEPT it had a giant Bus Stop right outside the front that really detracted from the street appeal of the house.
My buyers rejected it based on this alone.
What are your deal breakers when it comes to a property? Have a think about these, even before you attend a first inspection because it will help with your decision making process.
The idea is to take it all in, and form a “general” opinion about the place.
You want to decide whether it’s a GO or a NO-GO, without overthinking it too much.
If you’re curious to learn more about what else I check at the first inspection and subsequent inspections, my First Home Buyers E-Kit will reveal all, and provide you with a FULL LIST of what to look out for.