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There’s always lots of things to look for when you are house hunting, and it will be different depending on your needs. Have lots of kids, a house with more rooms, or larger rooms might be on the cards or maybe just more outdoor space!

Regardless of what you are looking for here are our top 5# things we look at when looking at houses for clients

Age of the roof and condition of the roof. Is the roof long run (i.e. the roofing sheets which run all the way from the top of the roof to the guttering) or short run, where there maybe several sheets between the roof and the guttering.

The use of short sheets stopped between 80 – 90’s which means roofs still using those can be 30 + years old. A well maintained short run roof can last for 50 years but most will be nearing the end of their lifespan, and if you are looking at an original 60’s or 70’s house and you see short run, its a really good idea to get it checked and look for leaks. The average replacement cost for a 110sqm2 home is between $10,000.00 – $20,000.00 so its worth considering.

Removed Walls. Walls that look like they have been removed. Under the building act you can remove or move internal non structural or load bearing walls. However in older houses many of the walls were load bearing. The most common removal is a wall being taken out between the lounge and the kitchen to make an open plan space, and or the large ranch sliders being installed from a lounge to an outdoor deck. These common renovations often need building consent, and often haven’t been obtained so great time to check that property file.

Bathroom Renovations. These can be tricky on whether they need consent or not. The basic rule is if a sanitary appliance ( i.e. shower, toilet, bath, basin) has been added to a bathroom, i.e. if you had a bath, and then you installed both a bath and a shower it would need consent. Also the conversion of bathroom to a tiled wetfloor shower also needs consent. Again if you see this in an older house, its a good time to check if this has been consented.

Windows. you can often see what the moisture levels are like inside the house by poking around the window frames, often in the corners of the frames is where moisture will pool and overtime damage the sills, leading to the need for replacement. This is important to check even with newer aluminum windows. Brand new aluminum windows are now manufactured with an small aluminum sill which collects the water and directs it through the frame to the outside ( great improvement),

Floors. Having to replace or repair piles under the house can be an expensive job, so when walking through a house take note of any rooms which don’t seem level, often in corners of houses. If you do find a floor isn’t level, best to call in a building inspector to check it out.

While no means an exhaustive list, we think the above is a great place to start. If you need any assistance with getting ready to buy a house get in contact for both practical and legal advice.

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