A home inspection is an essential step in buying a house. However, it seems that many people overlook it. ME Bank recently found that 58% Australian homeowners spent less time inspecting a property before buying it. Many of these homeowners regret making this mistake.

Experts recommend that homebuyers arrange for a pest and building inspection to avoid such problems. Although this can cost you between $100 and $1,000, it may prove to be worthwhile in the end. You might not realize that seemingly minor problems could be the root cause of bigger issues later on.

Experts suggest that you also inspect the property yourself to see what is going on. These professionals may be able to inspect every corner and crevice of a property but it is you who will ultimately decide whether a house is worth the investment.

These are the top things you should be looking for when inspecting your home.

1. Damp problems

Water stains and corrosion as well as mould buildup are indicators of moisture penetration or water leaks. While these problems are usually fixable, they can cause major financial issues. If untreated, damp problems can create an unhealthy living space.  

2. Cracks in the walls

Large cracks in walls and ceilings can be a sign of a problem. This could indicate that soils have become reactive and foundations have moved. If you notice cracks in the walls or ceilings, your building inspector will be able tell you if there is a larger issue.

3. Electric systems

Check that the outlets and light switches are functioning properly. You should be aware of any damaged or faulty electrical wiring. It is best to get an expert to inspect the electrical system if you are concerned about its condition.

4. Plumbing system

Check the water pressure with all taps turned on and flushing the toilets. You can also test if water drains correctly. You should also be on the lookout for soggy or damp spots. These can indicate drainage problems and leaks.

5. Cabinets and drawers

Check for unusual damp smells in all cabinets, drawers, and cabinets. This could indicate mould, mildew, poor ventilation, or other issues. Also, make sure that all hinges work properly.

6. Termite activity

Termite infestations can be identified by hollow door frames and springy floors. You should also be on the lookout for termites invading walls and droppings at cracks or edges. This is a major problem for many homebuyers. 

7. Plastering walls

Incorrect application of plastering during construction can often cause hairline cracks in the interior wall plastering. These cracks can grow larger and become more severe later on.

8. Roof

The exterior roof line should be straight and not wavy. Broken or missing roof tiles can also be checked. If you have a ladder, you can inspect the corrugated steel sheets to make sure they are in good shape. Roof gutters must also be free from rust and holes. Remember that even tiny holes can lead to huge leaks.

9. Drain holes

Multi-storey homes should have window and door frames with small holes above, below and along the suspended slab levels. This will allow water to escape. These holes will allow moisture to penetrate the walls and cause severe damage.

10. Renovations and extensions

Also, you should check to see if the previous owner has made unsafe or illegal renovations. This can be done through your local council. You may be responsible for these alterations, particularly if they are against building regulations.

Experts also suggest checking if the property’s layout suits your needs and if it has an appropriate orientation to the sun. If the house has too many west-facing windows, it will be more hot in summer. To find out if you are compatible with your neighbours and the neighborhood, it is worth looking into their lives. 

Remember that home inspections do not have to be passed or failed. Many times, building inspections are done to help you understand the property and make an informed decision about whether you want to buy it. You will ultimately decide if the home is worth your time and money, regardless what the issues are.