Looking at a house or apartment to buy, but not sure of its condition? Ready to sell but want to ensure your property is up-to-scratch?
Or, simply have some free time and want to future-proof your pad for selling by sprucing it up a bit?
We spoke to experienced locals, RAC Home Claims Manager Glen Walker and WA builder Karl Greenwood of Advanced Specialised Builders to share four things to look out for in the home.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Check your shower tiles and grout
First up? Shower tiles. Leaking showers can be expensive and, not to mention, extremely inconvenient to fix so you’ll want to check their condition and the amount of grout in your shower recess.
A good indication of deteriorating tiles is peeling paint on the wall behind the shower or a musty smell in the room behind the shower. If that’s the case, consider getting experienced professionals in to re-seal the bathrooms before it gets worse.
2. Look for signs of ceiling collapse
Next? Ceilings. “Fixing failure is one of the greatest risks,” says Walker. Homes built in the ’60s, ’70s and 80s used plaster and fibres (grout straps) to secure the ceiling to the joists. The straps deteriorate over the years, which can cause a sudden collapse for no apparent reason. You might think you’re safe in a modern home but, explains Walker: “Even homes built in the 1990s and 2000s are at risk due to issues with the glue and insufficient fixing screws.”
“Look for cracks, particularly on sheet joints,” adds Greenwood. “Check that the cornices are level and not sagging, particularly on face brick wall areas.”
3. The condition of your tiled roof
Another thing to look out for? The condition of a tiled roof. It can be a giveaway for how well a home’s been maintained.
“Are the ridge caps free of cracks in the bed joints? Does the roof have any undulations?” says Greenwood. Also look for corrosion in the valley trays and gutters and if the eaves linings are stained. That could indicate blocked down pipes or rusting down pipes inside the eaves cavity.
Local RAC member Josh Johnson experienced a roof collapse first hand: “When looking to buy a home, the condition of the roof wasn’t a priority, but as we opted for an older home in a better location, the condition of the roof was something that came back to haunt us,” he says.
“We’re now facing a hefty maintenance bill to repair tiles and ridge caps after having a leak come through to our ceiling causing water damage
“If we were to go through the process again, I would definitely enlist a professional to come out and inspect the roof and include any maintenance needed to the requirements before sale. The cost of the inspection is far less than the cost of the repairs.”
If you know you’ll sell one day, simple maintenance around the home can go a long way to minimising your need for extensive repairs.
“If you are undergoing maintenance or renovations to your home, check in with your insurer to make sure it doesn’t impact your cover,” Walker says.
4. Are flexi hoses worn?
Finally, an important thing to look out for is flexible braided hoses, also known as flexi hoses. These are commonly found under your bathroom sink and rupture far too frequently, if you’re out while one bursts it can end up flooding your home. Check to see if they’re kinked, twisted or rusting – tell tales signs they could be ready to burst.
“Consider installing an isolation valve to each water line, this will allow you to turn the water off if there’s a leak or when you go away on holiday whilst leaving other areas with continued water supply”, says Greenwood.
Your insurance policy may not cover you for existing defects or damage caused by lack of maintenance, which is why it is so important to do the proper checks first and to read your product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully before committing.
The helpful locals at RAC Insurance are experts in looking after you when the unexpected occurs. Whether you are a first home buyer, looking to upgrade or on the hunt for your next reno project consider investing in RAC Home and Contents Insurance (save $70 off the first year if buying online) for peace of mind.
For any real estate need either Buying or Selling or Investing , contact me either via email or phone given below.