What to look for when inspecting a new property

Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by Vlad Stoikovich

Most houses and apartments are dressed by professional property stylists to make the property look as desirable as possible, this isn’t exactly shocking in and of itself but, there are a few tricks to look out for!

1. Check the size of the beds.

In smaller rooms stylists will use smaller beds that make the room look bigger than it really is. If the property has more than one story check to see if the stylist has used a split base. If they have it generally  means that the staircase was too narrow to have a bed base moved in. As we move into more and more apartments and sub divisions, houses will become smaller and staircases narrower so if you already own a California King that you love a quick check can save you a huge headache.

2. Rugs cover stains and marks in the floors

Just by lifting a few corners of rugs you’ll be able to avoid or at least know about sun bleached floors and dirty carpets. This is especially common in older homes with hardwood floors. They might look beautiful but for the entire life of the floor it has been getting the same sun through the window each day leaving a big beached section of floor. This isn’t always a deal breaker, but it is a surprise you don’t want to find out about on settlement day. Pay attention to where each rug is placed and if one looks like its a little off centre or just looks a little odd, have a look because chances are it’s hiding something.

3. Check behind Art and mirrors!

Much like the rugs art is also used to hide marks and holes in walls. Again, it isn’t shocking that stylists do this its just their job. So why wouldn’t you do your job as a buyer and make sure you cover all of your bases? It is just due diligence.

4. Take a look at the lounges

If they have only used 3 seater lounges but the property is quite spacious, chances are that anything bigger won’t get through the door. Couches are generally the biggest bulkiest item that has to be moved into a house and they are also pretty essential. If you already have a large expensive lounge suite and the property is styled with two seaters and armchairs you might want to take another look at the doorway. If the doorway has a turn as soon as you enter or has a strange landing outside the door, Removalists won’t be able to manoeuvre your furniture inside. Plus if you don’t check you won’t find out until its too late!   

5. Have a seat at the table.

Take a look where they put the dining table and try to have a seat. By doing this you can make sure that the dining room is actually big enough to hold a dining table or if the stylist is just trying to maximise the appeal of the property, as in, their job. Stylists will make the most efficient use of the space but they won’t necessarily make the most liveable use of space. So if you struggle to fit behind a small dining table chances are once you move in you won’t have room for a dining table at all, or if you do it’ll be a bit of a squish.

Property stylists do a great job of helping property buyers imagine and see what their new home could become. They offer customers a vision and some inspiration of what the property could be, but they are trying to maximise the potential profit that the seller can make. So just pay attention and try not to get too caught up in the beautiful dream that you’re presented, because that dream may be hiding a nightmare!

photo of our removals team after a property stylist job

Inspecting a new property FAQs

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You should ensure there are no legal disputes over the property’s title, check if the property has any liens against it, and understand local zoning laws which might affect future renovations. Hiring a real estate attorney to help navigate these issues could be beneficial.

Good ventilation prevents dampness and mold. Look for extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms, check if windows open easily, and look for any signs of mold or musty smells which could indicate dampness issues.

Signs of pests might include droppings, bite marks on wires or structural wood, nests in tucked away areas, or hearing sounds within walls. Some pests like termites can cause significant damage, so a professional pest inspection might be worthwhile.

A well-insulated property is crucial for energy efficiency. Check if the property has double-glazing, ask about loft or wall insulation, and consider the age and type of heating/cooling systems. In colder regions, you can touch walls and ceilings on cold days to feel if they’re cold or well-insulated.

The state of the roof is crucial. Roof repairs can be costly and if not addressed, can lead to water damage inside the home. Look for missing, loose, or curling shingles, signs of sagging, or any evidence of leaks.

While older properties can have their charm, they might also come with potential issues like outdated electrical systems, plumbing issues, or inefficient heating/cooling. However, a well-maintained older property can be a solid purchase, just be aware of potential extra maintenance costs.

Yes, outdated or faulty electrical systems can be a fire hazard. Look for any obvious signs of problems like flickering lights, charred outlets, or old fuse boxes. A professional inspection is advisable for a comprehensive understanding.

First, check the overall condition of the property including its exterior (walls, roof, yard) and interior (floors, walls, ceilings). Look for signs of maintenance or neglect, and evaluate the neighborhood and proximity to essential services like schools, shops, and hospitals.

Look for signs of structural damage such as large cracks in the walls, uneven flooring, or doors and windows that don’t close properly. These might be signs of foundation issues which can be very expensive to correct.

Check for signs of leaks, rust, or water damage. Test the water pressure by running faucets and flushing toilets. Also, find out the age of the water heater, and the type of pipes used – older materials like lead or galvanized steel may need to be replaced.

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