If you are new to Australia, you might be wondering what home inspections are like here. Are they the same as in other countries, or is there a noticeable difference? How often should you inspect your home? When buying a new home, is an inspection mandatory or optional? Well, questions like these are what we are about to answer. So, let's relax and see what house inspections in Australia are all about.
Inspections before buying a home
If you are planning an international move to Australia, it only makes sense that you are also considering getting a home. For the sake of the article, we will assume that you've found a decent home in a decent neighborhood. While it may take a while for you to get the documents you need for this process, you shouldn't forget to inspect your future home before moving into it. Luckily, there are ways to make this surprisingly straightforward, even if you're not currently situated in Australia.
The first, and the easiest option, you have is to first inspect your home online. One of the newer trends in real estate is to provide either video or even VR presentations of a home. While this is no substitute for an inspection, it should give you a decent idea of what the house is like. After this, you need to inquire about any issues or past troubles that the home faced. History of maintenance, common problems with the neighborhood homes, and detailed outlines of any significant repairs are all valuable to understand what your Australian home will be like.
Consulting with a real estate agent
While the information you get from online inspections will be good, it won't be sufficient. Whether you like it or not, you will need to have a reliable, competent real estate agent helping you if you are to move your family to a decent home in Australia. But, luckily, real estate agents themselves are pretty good at assessing homes. After all, it is a part of their job.
Before you sign a deal for your home, your real estate agent will have to get an official home inspector to ensure that the house is in tip-top condition. If you cannot be present for the inspection, make sure that you talk with your real estate agent beforehand. Have them explain what they are worried about and elaborate on what you've learned about the home's history.
Regular house inspections in Australia
Now, let's move on to when you've moved into your Australian home. Everything is fine and dandy, and you are enjoying your new neighborhood. Great! But, for things to stay great, you will need to maintain your home. Now, you can wait for an issue to occur and then fix it. But, doing so is often ill-advised. Most issues can be solved much more cheaply and easily if they are caught early. And the only way to catch them early is with regular checks. That is why house inspections in Australia are very common.
DIY home inspection
A question on everyone's mind while reading is whether they can perform a DIY home inspection. And the answer is yes. Up to a certain degree, you can and should inspect your home. That is the only way to ensure that it stays in proper condition. Luckily, there are specific tips to follow to ensure that your home is in decent shape.
So, here is what to do:
- Check walls and ceilings - Moisture isn't usually a big problem in Australia. After all, most of it is in a desert or semi-desert climate. But, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't check your walls for discolorations or mold.
- Check the plumbing system - The thing to do here is to run water down your faucets and listen for gurgling noises in the pipes. If the water pressure is adequate and there are no weird noises, your pipes are fine. Know that plumbing repairs can be costly. So, the sooner you address them, the better.
- Examine windows - Almost all homes in Australia are air-conditioned (in fact, we often wonder how people lived without it). While this is great for surviving the summer months, it does require you to worry about insulation. And the best way to ensure that your vent system and insulation are doing their job is by checking your windows for condensation. If there is any, know that your home requires some maintenance.
- Examine switches and outlets - Electricity issues can happen, especially if your home doesn't have top-notch wiring. So, use a tester screwdriver to ensure that all of your outlets are functioning correctly. Even a minor issue can be a potential fire hazard.
- Inspect the exterior of your home - Here, your main goal is to ensure that your roof is good. For this, you will need to have a ladder and climb on top. If there are any cracks, dents, or loose shingles, know that you should fix them. Having a good roof is a big part of your home insulation. So, do your best to ensure that yours is tip-top.
Final thoughts about house inspections in Australia
After all, is said and done, a time will come when you will need to hire a professional to inspect your home. House inspections in Australia are a pretty common thing, so you shouldn't have much trouble finding a good inspector. Nevertheless, check their reviews and ratings, especially if you plan to hire them to solve issues. A professional has the necessary tools and experience to notice and fix problems that you would otherwise ignore. And the sooner they can detect these issues, the easier it will be for them to fix them. So, even with regular DIY inspections, we still suggest that you hire a professional at least once every two years.