Property-viewing can be a tricky affair. After all, no house is perfect - even Build-to-Order flats often come with defects - and sellers aren’t going to highlight the flaws of their property to potential buyers.
And if it’s your first time checking out houses, it can be an overwhelming experience with so much to consider and look at.
Add today’s astronomical prices to the equation, and you’ll want to make sure you’re making an informed decision and not live to regret your choice.
With all that said, your house-hunting journey doesn’t have to be an intimidating one - keep our tried-and-tested checklist in mind the next time you take a look at a property.
1. Get the lowdown on the layout
Whilst chic interior design and open concepts can look good, have a think about whether the layout of the house suits your needs - especially if you do not plan to renovate much.
For example, do you require a closed-off kitchen for heavy cooking, or does the current configuration lead to a lot of wasted space? Tip: You can always request for the floor plan from the seller’s real estate agent to get a better idea.
2. Find out where the structural walls are
Speaking of floor plans, it’s important to identify where the structural walls are. This will determine what can or cannot be hacked (hello, bigger master bedroom), and will affect your renovation plans.
Also, pay attention to the condition of these walls - they shouldn’t have any significant cracks running through them. If in doubt, get a professional to check for you before committing to the purchase.
3. Look for the bomb shelter
Another rigid factor to look for in newer HDB flats is the bomb shelter. For example, some bomb shelters are positioned in such a way that makes it impossible to have a open kitchen concept, so do bear that in mind if you’re thinking of having one.
4. Check out the flooring
Are there any noticeable damages? Whilst hairline cracks are part of wear and tear, cracked tiles or raised vinyl floorings are huge red flags. To fix the issue. it will likely require you to cough up a four figure sum to have the entire flooring replaced.
5. Pay attention to the ceiling
Now that you’re done with the flooring, look up to see if there are any water marks or black mould spots.
This could mean that the waterproofing has been compromised, and could lead to potential disputes with the neighbour above you in a high-rise setting. Also, mould is notoriously difficult to get rid of.
On a side note, see if there’s any similar damage on the air conditioner’s trunking too.
6. Visit the toilets
A strong flush (we all know how important that is) and working taps aside, there should be no powdery white marks on the dry floor - it could be a sign of compromised waterproofing.
And if you do get to visit the house a second time, try flooding the toilet if you can. Water should be able to drain well and not pool up.
ALSO READ: Pssst… Here are 6 things your real estate agent might not be telling you
This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.