In assessing a home for potential purchase, there are important items to be on the lookout for — the primary one being the condition of the property. Is the home structurally sound? Walk around the interior of the home, checking the walls and ceilings for cracks. Hairline cracks are to be expected in some places. Check the exterior for cracks. Cracks could be a sign that the property isn’t structurally sound. Points at which extensions join are places to look, as cracks often occur there. Also look for loose or broken tiles on the roof or broken guttering, evidence of damage to the drywall and weaknesses on the floors. It’s acceptable to ask how long it’s been like that, and whether it will be fixed. If you see major cracks or bowing walls, have a structural engineer assess the situation. Look (and smell) closely for evidence of mold. Mold and mold damage are major problems that will cost you a lot to clean and repair. Don’t just look for it — use your nose as well. Mold frequently gives off a musty smell, even when there are no visible signs. Inspect all crawl spaces, basements area, and walls. Plaster that’s flaking, watermarks on walls or ceilings, or even a fresh coat of paint in part of a room could be indications of mold. Don’t overlook the ceiling and around the skirting boards properly for evidence of leaks or water damage. Ensure heating, air-conditioning, and electric is in good working order. Other aspects to consider when looking at the general condition of the property are the heating and air conditioning systems. Have an expert assess that they’re the appropriate models and capacity, and that they’re working properly. Check the electrical panel. It shouldn’t be old or outdated, must be easily accessible, and in good working condition. Ensure wiring was done properly. You don’t want to spend a fortune rewiring the home to bring it up to standard. Consider if there are enough power outlets and if they are in good condition.
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