Australians understand how difficult it can be to buy a home. Many people don’t have the funds for a brand-new, sparkling abode – but that’s okay! Second-hand homes can be a great way to get into the property market.
After all, it’s cheaper, and you get an established property with fewer maintenance issues and sometimes even furniture left in it from the previous owners. And if you’re in NSW’s Cessnock region, you’re in luck. The city is affordable compared to other parts of Australia, and there are plenty of second-hand homes to choose from.
About 271 houses were sold in the past 12 months, giving us a positive outlook about property exchange in the area. But besides the affordability factor, there’s a lot to consider when buying a second-hand home.
From hidden defects to unexpected costs, here is what you must know about buying a second-hand home.
1. Assess the Plumbing Systems:
It always pays to look beyond the cosmetics of a home and inspect the plumbing systems. The last thing you want is to discover that your new house has major plumbing repairs ahead of it.
You can easily do this by checking for signs of moisture, standing water, or leaks. Getting a plumber in for an inspection is best if you spot any of these things.
These professionals will examine the water heater, the pipes, and other plumbing fixtures to give you an honest assessment of the condition. If you’re in Cessnock, your browser will bring up a list of local plumbers who can help you with this. Use the keyword ‘plumber Cessnock‘ to find the right one.
2. Check the Electrical Systems:
The electricity in your new home is another essential component you must pay attention to. You can do a simple check by ensuring that each outlet is in proper working condition and the lights flicker on with the flick of a switch.
You can also look for signs of damage in the wiring, especially around exposed outlets, and check for tripped breakers or sparks. 3
If you notice any of these issues, you must hire a professional to address them before moving in. Electrical hazards can lead to house fires, so it’s best to be safe than sorry.
3. Look for Structural Issues:
Don’t forget to check for structural issues when looking at second-hand homes. For instance, you should check for cracked foundations, warped ceilings, and broken windows. Also, pay attention to the tiles in the bathroom and kitchen – these can be expensive to replace if they’re damaged.
The roof of your (potential) new home should also be inspected. If a roof is in bad condition, you could be at risk of water damage when it rains. Look for loose shingles, rust, or mold.
Investing a little more in roof replacement might be a good idea if you’re buying an old property. Considering your area’s climate, you can choose metal, tile, or asphalt roofing.
4. Location, Location, Location:
Before you buy a second-hand home, it’s essential to check the neighborhood. Is the area safe? Are there good schools nearby? What kind of amenities are available? These factors will determine your quality of life and may also influence the value of your property.
If you’re a family, you may want to choose a home in an area with plenty of parks, good schools, and other family-friendly activities.
There are a few ways to go about it: you could conduct hours (or weeks) of research online or drive around the area and get to know it better. But if you work with an estate agent, they can give you more specific information about the area.
5. Inspect for Pest Infestations:
Pests can be a massive problem in second-hand homes. Termites, ants, and rodents make their homes in empty buildings. These critters can pose serious health risks. And let’s not forget the damage they can cause to your home.
Imagine your insulation covered in termite droppings or your walls eaten away by an ant infestation. Not a pretty moment!
So, you must check for their presence before you sign on the dotted line. Areas especially prone to pests are the kitchen, bathrooms, and attic, so make sure you look in all these places. If you feel you’re not up to the task, you can always hire a professional pest inspector to do the job.
6. Check for Additional Fees:
Finally, you must inquire about any additional costs of purchasing a second-hand home. Homeowners’ associations often charge extra fees, so ensure you know what you’re getting into. Some other standard costs are property insurance, maintenance, and taxes.
You might even have to pay for parking permits or other amenities. It’s always best to know the total costs before purchasing.
Also, ask the seller if they plan to keep any furniture or appliances in the home. It will affect your budget and may even determine where to place your furniture in the house.
Buying a second-hand home can be an exciting experience. You’ll have a new space to decorate and make your “own.” Plus, if you find the right property, it can be an excellent investment. Just remember to use caution when inspecting and researching your new home. Considering the abovementioned aspects will help you choose the ideal home for you and your family. Also, you’ll be surprised at how much money you’ll save in the long run.