Mortgages, Money and Me

Pre-purchase inspections you can conduct yourself

Before you sign on the dotted line, take a closer look at your prospective dream home because things are not always as they seem.

Major problems with a property you might be eyeing could cost you thousands of dollars to fix, not to mention the stress of watching your perfect purchase turn into a disaster.

Avoid the heartache and financial stress of hidden problems by keeping an eye on these potential danger areas when conducting your pre-purchase inspections.


Beware structural damage in your potential purchase. This is especially important in older properties. If the property you are considering has structural damage, it would be wise to stay clear as this is by far the largest cash guzzler.

Check for signs of damage by looking at the interior walls for cracks or breaks, and don’t forget to inspect the brickwork on the outside of the house.


Test the water pressure by checking the taps in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Inspect the pipes outside the house for rust or leaks. Finally, be sure to ask about the age of the hot water system and when it was last serviced.


Electrical or wiring problems are some of the most dangerous issues due to the increased risk of fire. Older properties are more susceptible to problems, especially when DIY maintenance or renovations have been undertaken.

Blackened areas around power points are a tell-tale sign of faulty wiring.

While these tips are a handy starting point for spotting basic signs, it is always important to call in the professionals if you are concerned about any of the above factors. Its a good idea to have a professional building and pest inspection completed before signing any contracts, or satisfactory inspection included as a clause in the contract.