Buying a new home can be a mixture of stress and excitement! The stress of the unknown and the excitement of a new home! You know that feeling when you find the house you have been dreaming of for an awesome price? You just want to jump straight in, buy it and get in there. What we hear and see a lot of when people jump in is that 2 months later, once they think they are settled in, all these problems expose themselves!
Thats where we come in! We don’t want this to happen to you, so read on to see our plumbing guide of all the things you need to look out for when buying your new home.
Gutters & Downpipes
So stand out the front of your home.
Take a look at the gutters and downpipes. Are they rusty? Are they broken? Will they need replacing soon? This is an important component to keep an eye out for, as gutters and downpipes that are not functioning, have the potential to cause substantial damage to the home, resulting in you potentially getting a hefty bill!
Properly look around the interiors of your potential home.
Any signs of water stains on the wall or ceiling? This is an important one as any signs of water damage/leaks mean chronic leak issues could haunt your home.
Focus lots of your attention on the bathroom and take extra time to review the tile work around the bath, shower and sink. Poor tiling work can put you at a great disadvantage and can be quiet costly to get fixed. If the tiling work isn’t providing a proper seal to prevent water leaks, complete waterproofing works are often required (which you guessed it… $$$)
Now take a close look at the cabinetry under the sink and check for water damage.
Flush the toilet; Does it drain quickly, and fill properly?
Turn on the taps; Are they flowing freely and draining just as easily?
If you find drainage issues from the taps or toilet, it is usually one of two things; (1) The pipes at the property are quiet old (2) The property may have some blockage issues.
Big blockages and cracked pipes are expensive problems and a big dig up is not something you want to be paying for, right after you have paid that hefty house deposit! If the pipes are old, completely replacing the old plumbing is also a very costly matter and something you want to avoid!
Hot Water Unit
Look around the property for the hot water unit. Is it located inside or outside? How old is it? Is it still under warranty?
Find the label. A quick google search of this unit should be able to tell you pretty quickly what the standard warranty is. Hot water units are not cheap to repair and very expensive to replace. It’s worth knowing how many years you should get out of your hot water unit and when it was last serviced.
The location of the unit is also something to keep in mind. We know Hot Water Units have the potential to burst or explode when they have reached their life’s end. If the unit is located outside, the potential damage to be caused is reduced compared to if it is located inside. When located inside, there is an increased risk of causing substantial damage to your property. Therefore we prefer (and recommend) hot water units that are located outside.
Head to the kitchen where all your breakfast, lunches and dinners will be prepared (ie. a very important part of the house!) How does the cabinetry look underneath the sink? Any water stains? Any visible leaks?
Check the kitchen taps, the water flow and the drainage. Are there any odours coming from the sink? Odours from any of the sinks and pipework in the house can be a big sign that the pipes could be old and there may be blockages.
Sewer & Stormwater Drains
You want to find out as much about this property as you can and to help do that, it is important to know about the sewer and stormwater pipes/drains. Any sewer issues can lead to a dig up needing to take place to solve it and a dig up can be quiet invasive and costly!
We also recommend obtaining a sewer plan from the local water council and any plans of plumbing works that have been undertaken at the property. Because let us tell you, sewer issues aren’t pleasant and the more information you know about the property the better!
If your dream home is in close proximity to neighbours, it is worth investigating if they have had any plumbing issues. Plumbing issues your neighbours have, have the potential to impact on the integrity of your potential properties pipework.
So that covers the plumbing! If you want a checklist of other things to look out for at your property, CHECK OUT THIS POST
Hopefully these points leave no stone unturned for you in your property search. Best of luck and if you need any assistance with your plumbing, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.
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Not buying, renting instead? See our renters checklist HERE
See our extended Home Buyer Plumbing Checklist HERE