If you are at an open house and think you may put in an offer subject to finance, building & pest, then make sure you have a good look around first. All though you can negotiate after you have obtained a building & pest inspection report from a qualified professional, you will also benefit from spotting any obvious issues up front. Look for the following and make a list whilst you are at the open house:
- Mould can be easily seen. Look on ceilings, wall & cupboards especially in wet areas. There are many causes of mould. Some serious, some not.
- Wall cracks are common in many houses, however, if they are wide or numerous it could indicate one of many serious issues. Sometimes a vendor may try to paint over them.
- Uneven ceilings could indicate water damage from a leaky roof.
- DIY jobs such as unapproved extensions, window replacements, wiring etc. could lead to major issues and have serious safety implications
- Drainage Has it been raining recently? If so look for where puddles formed near the house. If, as ever in Brisbane, it hasn't rained, check guttering conditions and also the slope of the land. Can surface water go down the slope without entering your house? Does the neighbour's property drain into yours?
- Damp patches Old slabs sometimes weren't laid properly allowing damp to rise through it. Walls were sometimes built directly into the ground. Look for where damp is, or once was. Some issues with damp are very costly to rectify.
- Wet areas As Brett mentioned in his Wet Area Video wet areas are the most common insurance claim QBCC has to deal with. They are high risk and costly to repair. Check in and around the bath and sink for patches. Also, check the adjacent walls. If a shower has been leaking there could be all sorts of issues in these walls.
- Termites Have a look in the garden, on the fence, trees, tree stumps. look for tunnels like the ones in Brett's termite photos. Check the slab around the house for garden beds and soil that could hide their tracks into the house.
- Doors & Windows are worth opening & closing to see how they fit. If they are difficult to use then the house may be badly built or has structural issues causing movement?
Remember, these are just ideas of what you can do at an open house. It is not a substitute for a professionally conducted building & pest inspection!