So you’ve saved your pennies, your deposit is in, the bank gave you the all-clear and you are on your way to start lining up the open homes? That’s already a huge achievement.
You’re over there thinking you’re ready and know exactly what you’re looking for. How it feels, beds, baths, garages etc. *cue dark storm clouds* what about those little things that we skim over when we are wearing the rose coloured glasses when we are really in-love with a property? We don’t want anything to come between you and buying it – right?
Well, I asked the expert of ‘de-railing dream homes’ – my dad, Victor – about what to look for and ‘sniff out’ before you buy anything!
Here’s how it went down:
Lisa: So dad, I have so many questions but i’m going to keep this short and sweet. Okay..so…
*Victor Interrupts me* (he loves doing this)
Victor: I know what you’re going to ask…
Lisa: Oh really?
Victor: You can’t tell from just looking at a house, you have to really look deep at the house. Look for cracks in the walls. Look at the piers the house is on.. Are they cracked? Does the house smell damp. Is the area prone to flooding. What does the backyard look like with a lot of rain. How’s the drainage? Are there big trees around that could be a problem later.
Lisa: Okay well, i was going to come to the outside after but you are just going to answer everything in one big go.. Okay then. What about those vines that search for water? Like your ‘favourite’.. Ivy..
Victor: Yes, you don’t want those kinds of problems especially if you are first home buyer. They search for water and that usually means your drain pipes. Now if they get in.. its a big problem could cost you thousands of dollars, Lisa. A lot of people don’t have someone who can help them with this kind of advice – you are lucky.
Lisa: Dad, that’s why we are doing this. So people know these things so it helps them too. Omg. Okay Dad, what about if someone wants to renovate?
Victor: You need to look at the walls and see which ones are the structural walls. This way when you start knocking things down, you don’t knock down your whole entire house. If you have a good strong foundation, you have a good strong house (most of the time). The problems start from the bottom.. from the peirs to the roof. You also have to look at the layout. How can this wall come down without doing too much work.
Like when you bought your house, you wanted to move the whole kitchen and i said no because then the plumbing job would cost you 10k and cut a new window.. oh my god. Too much work Lisa.
Lisa: What about the deck? Remember how many fights we had over how i wanted those bi-folding doors and you were just like NO.
Victor: Do you know what it’s going to be like in summer with flies all in your house?
Lisa: I know. I am kinda glad that I listened. I think I cracked it a few times didn’t I? haha I’m such a child sometimes.
Victor: You will always be my little child.
Lisa: Yes… hahaha
Lisa: Okay and what about the bathrooms?
Victor: Its always different but if there are loose tiles, cracked tiles and things like that. It could be a problem because of mould. And water damage is the worst thing. And structural damage.. you will be up for a minimum of 7000 maybe more!
Lisa: I wish i had a bathtub.
Victor: Come and use ours, we don’t use it.
Lisa: Yeah kinda defeats the purpose of relaxation coming to your house with a million questions every 5 minutes. So what you’re saying is really.. Here’s how to do things on a budget and if no one else can help you look-out for this stuff…
Victor: YES. Because everyone is always on a budget. Especially now.
Lisa: Don’t have a bathtub, use someone else’s.. Great budgeting strategy..
Lisa: The last time we looked at a house it was this one that I have. I remember when we looked at a few others.. And you were just like.. No. No. No. I think you were jumping in the house to see if the house shakes.. That is the most ethnic thing.
Victor: Yes, i do it all the time to see if it was built okay. And can you look under the house. Especially old houses to see if it’s al good under there.
Lisa: The jump test?
Victor: It has to pass the Victor test. I test for everything. You should always look around the house too. An inspection report is good, but it’s not like your own two eyes and gut feeling – you know.
Lisa: Gut feeling. Yes. I think this is so important. Intuition.
Lisa: So dad how can people contact you for advice and to do a walk-through with them so you can shatter their dream house for them?
Victor: No. Lisa, they better not contact me. I have enough problems with helping you.
Lisa: Omg I am just kidding.
Victor: It won’t shatter their dream-house. It will make it better because why would they want a rubbish house?
Lisa: Ok now we are going to do some quick questions.
Victor: I thought I already answered everything.. 21 questions now?. I have things to do.
Lisa: Omg. always rushing to nowhere. re-lax, you are retired, act like it for once in your life.
Lisa: Do you think that finding the right place is luck of the draw?
Victor: Sometimes you can be lucky.. But sometimes you wait for the right one. Thats how you find the right one. Some agents try to rush people into a decision but you have to be sure and flush the toilets and stuff to be 100% sure its the right one..
Lisa: Flush the toilets? What?
Victor: Yes, to check if it’s all working good. Make sure it flows!
Lisa: Okay this is the fun bit. Relax – geeze. I can tell you’re getting annoyed at me, hahaha. It’s a quick game.
Victor: Okay, hurry up.
Lisa: New or Old?
Victor: Now that I’m old, I want New.
Lisa: Brick or Wood?
Victor: Brick (of course)
Lisa: Tiles or Floor boards?
Victor: Tiles that look like floor boards (less maintenance)
Lisa: Flat or steep?
Victor: Flat. Never again with the steep.
Lisa: Up the hill or down the hill?
Victor: Up hill.
Lisa: North or west?
Lisa: High ceilings or erm, short ceilings?
Victor: High. Who would choose short. What kind of question is that?
Lisa: Roof tiles or Aluminium Roof
Victor: Colorbond roof, Lisa. I didn’t used to like them (ask your brother).
Lisa: Gas or electric
Victor: Gas stove, electric oven.
Lisa: Garden or Balcony?
Lisa: Ocean view or Tree view?
Victor: That wasn’t a game.
Lisa: Okay, I’m done. Thank you, dad.