If you're buying a house, you will of course need insurance cover for your new property, and your lender will require it.
Here we pinpoint some specific items that some purchasers overlook and, if checked, could avoid later expense:
• Look at the condition of the roof and whether or not there is any evidence of water leaking in around existing vents or skylights
• Check the type of water pipe used in the construction. Some pipe products used in the 1970–90 period only had a 30 year lifespan!
• Inspect retaining walls. Have they been well maintained and does your insurance cover them?
• Check the state of the boundary fences. If they have been poorly maintained your insurance may not cover them when they fall down
• Ensure any renovations have been properly permitted and completed, and
• Check the drainage pipes. You don't want to find out they're blocked when your house or garage suddenly floods during a rainstorm!
We recommend you get a qualified building inspector to do a thorough pre-purchase inspection of the property before you commit to purchasing it. Think of it as a form of insurance; whilst it costs money you may be reluctant to spend, it will cost you far more if you have to replace the pipes, a retaining wall or the roof.
And having just mentioned plumbing, you may also want to check whether or not your home has any flexible/braided hoses in the kitchen or bathroom. Research from Australia has shown that these hoses only last for about 10 years and they are likely to cause significant water damage if they fail.