So you’ve scheduled inspections and are armed with our ultimate house inspection checklist. Great! It’s always good to know what dealbreakers are and what could take away from the value of a home.
But the problem is that you might see issues during the inspection that immediately turn you off. And while some of them might be, others could be fixed with the right professionals, or even the right mindset.
So before you go off on your next home inspection, have a look at what can and can’t be fixed with these common property “flaws”.
The interiors and fixtures are ugly!
Ugly furniture, and ugly interiors for that matter, should not be a deterrent. Remember that the people currently living there are going to take the furniture with them. Avoid placing too much importance on the interior aesthetic.
Even wallpaper, kitchen backsplashes or even kitchens can be entirely redone to suit your style. You won’t necessarily have to spend too much money on it either, which often discourages home buyers. Keep an open mind and look out for more important details, like location and structure when you’re on the house inspection.
There isn’t enough sunlight!
Many of us favour homes with more natural light. It’s only “natural”! But if you love a home that has less sunlight than you want, there’s something else you can do.
Check if the paint is just worn out and if a fresh coat could give it the lift and light it needs.
Then take a look outside and see if there are any trees or shrubs that can be trimmed. Of course we wouldn’t want to chop them down entirely, but trimming can make way for more light.
Another option would be to build more windows or a skylight. It’s definitely possible!
It smells weird!
This happens more often than you’d think! Bad smells can ward off even the easiest buyers. It tells us a place is unclean or unsanitary.
But before you walk out on the inspection, look into where the smell could be coming from. There are many things that produce strange smells, from dead animals to an old carpet, rising damp and toxic paint.
Which is why we encourage doing a building and pest inspection if you’re interested in the property. They survey the home and can give you an estimate on how much it would cost to fix the problem.
The garden isn’t well maintained!
While most real estate agents would recommend cleaning the outdoor areas before an open house, not many sellers have the time or budget. Which is why you might come across an unkempt garden or messy backyard during the house inspection.
We get it, it’s visually unattractive. But because this turns away other buyers, it might lower the competition, getting you a better price on your purchase. You could also speak to the owner about budging the price and then put those costs into landscaping the garden.
The layout is impractical!
The layout or floor plan is what initially attracts most buyers. In the same way, a bad layout can dissuade them.
If the property checks a lot of boxes for you but the floor plan isn’t great, have a closer look at the problem areas. Is it furniture that’s in the way? That can be quite easily rectified.
If it’s walls and doors, you might want to bring a contractor in to tell you where you might permanently close off a door or knock down a wall for more open space living.
The ceilings and walls are full of cracks!
Big cracks in the walls or ceilings can definitely be a bad sign as they signal structural damage. To remedy this, the building must be underpinned before it risks sinking or collapsing.
Here as well, you might need the eyes of a professional. Builders can tell you what the cause is and how it can be fixed. Once you know all that, you can make a better decision after the house inspection.
If the costs are high, bring them up with the seller to see if that can be negotiated into the selling price.
The ceilings are low!
Out of everything on this list, low ceilings can be harder to fix. But that doesn’t mean they should be a deal breaker.
Just make sure the price tag takes this disadvantage into consideration. It may give you a chance to get on the property ladder within your budget.
The house is too close to train lines and roads
Noise, privacy and general liveability are brought into question when a home is near a main road or train line. It can be a nuisance to hear cars zoom past you all day and night, or feel the rumble of a speeding train when you’re trying to get to sleep. But sellers and agents know this is a deterrent, so the price will be more competitive.
If that’s what’s bothering you, there are a few things you can do. Start by looking into constructing a solid fencing, like brick, that can help reduce road noise. Trees and bushes can also work this way.
Double glazing is an excellent way to block out outside noise, so explore this option if it’s within your budget.
Need more tips?
Browse our lifestyle category. It’s chock full of hacks and advice from industry professionals beyond the home inspection. And remember to download the Soho app for quicker browsing and property matching. It’s getting you into your dream home faster!