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The TO-DO list for inspecting your new home.

Posted in Starting Property Investing

About to get the keys to your new home sweet home? Well, it pays to comprehensively check all the potential defects and get them fixed before your dream renovation starts. Remember, if the defects are found later after your renovation has been completed, the developer’s contractor may blame your contractor instead for the defects. Plus imagine the hassle of moving out of your home sweet home while the contractor fixes the issue. Here are some things that will definitely help in identifying those defects and getting the developer to quickly fix them.

Usually, an established developer would provide you with a standard Defect Rectification form. Developers who did not, well… Anyway, let’s move on to preparation before the inspection.

#1 – Be prepared. Please do carry some items along such as pen, paper, market pen, making tape, measuring tape, broom stick and even a good digital camera. (5x zoom would be cool). Of course having a ladder would be a great plus because sometimes the crack line on the ceiling may not be that clear to the eyes. Bringing along a friend who’s usually very attentive would be worth that free cup of coffee afterwards.

#2 – Walls / Ceilings.  Look for cracks and uneven surfaces.  Cracks are easier to be fixed but uneven surfaces would take some time.  Look for holes or even missing plaster. One major thing we must look for would be fungus or watermarks. These usually may mean the piping has issues or the layer of water-proof seal on the unit above may have been shoddily done. Any imperfections such as lumps, bubbles, peeling paint or even nails or loose wiring is a cause for concern.

NOTE:  WRITE down these into the form and use the pen / marker to write on the masking tape and tape it at the area with defect. This will help the developer’s contractor to easily identify the location for the defects. Remember, if you only write it on the form, even you may not remember the actual place when you revisit your unit in the near future. 

#3 – Tiles. There is nothing wrong with a GENTLE TAP on every tile in the house. A broom stick would come in handy for this job. Listen for hollow sound. If you do not know what’s a hollow sound, please ask any good real estate negotiators. They should know! Remember, when one tile breaks in the future, it’s a pretty complicated issue and very dirty to fix too!

#4 – Floor.  Look for gaps in the wall skirting. Usually these are easy to fix. Uneven floors would be much harder. Hopefully the developers’ contractors are not that sloppy yeah.

#5 – Doors and Windows.  These include poor workmanship and is easy to identify. Look for gaps when you shut the window. One of my condo’s window had gaps and when it rained heavily, the water seeped in. Fortunately can still be fixed easily in future but then again if you can see the gap or some water marks, better get the developer to fix it one round. Opening and shutting the window allows us to know if there’s anything wrong with it too. Can the door be easily opened? Sometimes, it’s not smooth. For example, you needed to push in order to open, these must be fixed before you move in.

#6. Anything missing?  If there are fixtures and accessories that was promised by the developer (in writing), then please check if all of them are already fixed or provided. Some items would include electrical points, broadband points, water-heater or even taps, sinks etc. If a kitchen cabinet was part of the package, then make sure all the doors, drawers could be open and shut easily without issues.

#7. Working Electrical points.  Usually, the developer would already check this one by one for you during the keys handover. If it was not, something must be wrong with the developer. To check this however, better get your electrician friend.

#8. Pipes.  There should not be any protruding pipes yeah.

Usually, the checking would take anywhere from half an hour (awesome developer) or more than an hour (once you found a few, more would usually appear.) In my experience thus far, the best condo that I bought was one where there were hardly any defects. Maybe because I am not that picky or lucky? The worst was a condo where even the tiles (Master-Bedroom) have ‘exploded’ which meant a major defect. So, things to happen. We just need to be prepared for it. Happy inspecting and enjoying your new home. Yeah, the feeling’s good because we have finally bought a property we could call as our own. In future, it will become an asset which helps us hedge against inflation.

written on 6 July 2018

Next suggested article: 12 inspection tips on buying secondary properties

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