Tips on how to save on unforeseen costs

Your property is already an expensive outlay, and the last thing you want is to continually outlay money for items you could have potentially avoided. A building inspection before you buy can identify repair and maintenance requirements and estimate some unforeseen costs.

Here are some helpful tips to assist you in inspecting a property you may be interested in:

  • Have a licensed building inspector thoroughly check over the property for you. This will come at a small cost, however, saving you money should the property require extensive repairs.

  • We suggest checking all the plans, permits and building materials used, for example, ensuring that any late additions to the property like sheds and patios have the appropriate council approvals. If any works to the property have been undertaken in the last ten years, be sure to check that these have the appropriate approvals in place.

  • Check the age of the hot-water unit (HWU), you can normally find this on either the exterior or inside cover of the HWU. Anything over ten years is probably past it’s used by date, and most likely would be needing replacement soon after purchase.

  • Check all taps both inside and outside the home. We suggest turning the taps on and then quickly turning them off as fast as you can, and listening to see if you hear any thumps or shakes. If pipe clatter noise occurs this would indicate water hammer. If water hammer is present it will eventually ware through the pipework.

  • Sewer line investigation to understand whether the line is clay or PVC and whether there have been issues at the property with the sewer line blocking up. If clay pipes are present, generally roots will penetrate causing blockages and eventual lead to pipework needing to be dug up and replaced.

  • Look at walls backing on to wet areas of the home to ensure no water stains or corrosion and or bubbling and peeling of paint.

  • Check the roof down pipes are running to storm water drains. Any signs of past flooding or excess water flow could be an indication that either the soak wells are not the correct size or the soak well isn’t draining and may need cleaning.

  • Check the condition of the roof, especially on tiled homes. Look for cracked tiles, sagging roof, missing ridge capping mortar or crooked ridge-capping lines and blocked or rusted gutters.; as roof restoration can be a very costly exercise.

  • Test the Residual Current Device (RSD). All RCD’s have a test button, pushing the test button simulates an earth leakage fault, and indicates whether the RCD is operating correctly.

  • Ensure that the property has at least one hard-wired smoke detector and have it tested to ensure it is functioning correctly.

  • Pest inspection could also save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

  • Check the levels of the property compared to the neighbours along the fence-line making sure that there is appropriate retaining and that the fence isn’t loose.

If you decide to go ahead with the purchase of the property we would recommend developing a maintenance program. You can always save money by fixing small problems before they turn into larger ones.

Expand Group specialises in plumbing & gas services. We provide upcoming homeowner with peace of mind about their future investments. To find out more about how we can assist you call us on 0413 762 562.