Propertyscouts New Plymouth

The nuts and bolts of buying a home - 15th Dec 2017

The nuts and bolts of buying a home

Whether you're new to home buying or an old hand, it's a good idea to check a property from top to bottom for any issues that could haunt you later. Based on our experience with common home claims, our experts have put together some things to look out for.

1. Roof – Depending on how old the house is, it’s best to find out when the roof was last resurfaced, and check how many things are set into it, such as vent pipes, chimneys, and skylights. These require flashings, which need to be maintained regularly, otherwise leaks can occur.

2. Water pipes – If the house you’re looking at was built in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, then check the type of water piping it has. Some brands during these decades have a limited life span of up to 30 years, including the joints. This means, if the same type of piping was used throughout the entire house, and you get just one leak, then it will all need to be replaced - this can be a rather expensive task!

3. Retaining Walls – Retaining walls are generally expensive and require maintenance; they can also cause issues (such as slips) if they are close to your house. Check with your insurer on the financial limit they have in the policy for replacing or repairing them - you may have to contribute from your own pocket should something more extensive, and expensive, happens.

4. Fences – Boundary fences are owned equally between two neighbours, as per the Fencing Act 1978. It doesn’t matter if the fence is on your property or theirs – you are both responsible for it. When purchasing a property, check out the condition of your fences, especially the boundary, and ask about the neighbours. You don’t want to move in and find yourself splitting the cost of a broken fence with an unreasonable co-owner. It’s also important to remember that if a fence is poorly maintained and falls down, it may not be covered by insurance.

Find out the next 4 tips here.

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