Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you can make, whether it’s by yourself or with a partner. One of the most important and fun parts of the home buying process is the open home inspections. While it can be easy to get caught up in the moment, imagining yourself living there or getting fixated on small details, it’s the perfect time to ask questions and find out some important details about your ‘maybe’ future home.

  1. Have any renovations been made?
    Understanding the history of the house and any past renovations can provide insights into the property’s condition, the quality of workmanship, and any potential issues that may arise in the future. It's essential to know what improvements have been made, whether they were done professionally and whether they received any required council approvals (such as pool or extensions to the house).

  2. Do you have copies of recent property reports?
    A property report details the previous sales history of the house, the current estimated value and land size, along with information about the suburb. It’s valuable information that can be handy to know before making such a big and lifechanging decision.

  3. Why are the owners selling?
    Knowing the reason behind the sale can provide a lot of context. It could be due to personal reasons, relocation, or issues with the property itself. Understanding the motivation can help inform your own decision, gauge the seller's urgency and possibly help in negotiating.

  4. What sale price are the owners expecting?
    Understanding the seller's price expectations can give you a better idea of whether the property is within your budget and how much room there is for negotiation. Be sure to assess the market value of similar properties in the area to determine a fair offer.

  5. What sort of amenities are nearby?
    The property’s proximity to amenities such as schools, parks, public transportation, shopping centers, and healthcare facilities can make or break your decision. Whether you’re too close or not close enough to certain amenities can greatly impact you’re your daily routine and quality of life once you’ve already moved in.

  6. Are there any structural issues?
    Asking about any structural issues, such as foundation cracks, termite damage, roof leaks, or drainage problems is essential for determining the long-term stability and safety of the property.
    Structural issues can be costly to repair and can impact the property's value. If you’re interested in the property and looking to make an offer, make sure you arrange for a building and pest inspection first which can uncover internal and external issues that aren’t always visible at first glance.

  7. Does the body corporate allow pets? (If you’re looking at an apartment)
    If the property is part of a strata or body corporate arrangement, make sure you inquire about any pet restrictions or regulations. Understanding the rules and bylaws governing pet ownership can avoid potential conflicts or surprises after moving in.

  8. Have there been any offers yet and Is the seller open to negotiation?
    Knowing whether there have been any previous offers on the property can help you judge the level of interest and competition. It's also an opportunity to understand how motivated the seller is and whether they may be open to negotiation. Expressing your interest in negotiation can not only give you a better ballpark idea of the sale price, but it can prompt the seller to consider price adjustments or flexible conditions as part of the sale.

  9. What are the comparable sales in the suburb?
    Researching comparable sales of similar properties in the area can help provide insights into the property's market value and help you make an informed decision. Understanding recent sales trends and property prices can guide your negotiation strategy and ensure you're paying a fair price.


Things to watch out for when completing a house inspection

Keep an eye out for potential red flags that may indicate underlying issues with the property:

  • Water damage: look for signs of water stains, dampness, or mould growth on walls, ceilings, and floors, as they may indicate leaks or poor drainage.

  • Pest damage: check for evidence of pest infestation, such as termite damage, rodent droppings, or chewed wood.

  • Bad smells: pay attention to any unusual odours, which could indicate mould, mildew, sewage problems, or other issues.

  • Structural issues: look for cracks in walls, uneven floors, sagging ceilings, or doors that don't close properly, as they may indicate underlying structural problems.

  • Newly painted walls: While a fresh coat of paint can spruce up a house, it can also cover up possible issues such as rotted timber, water leaks and rising damp (when moisture from the ground rises up through the walls).

  • Faulty wiring: check electrical outlets, switches, and fixtures for signs of wear or malfunction, as outdated or faulty wiring can pose fire hazards.

  • Poor maintenance: assess the overall condition of the property, including the exterior, landscaping, and interior spaces, to identify signs of neglect or deferred maintenance.


If you’re in the market for a home loan, chat one of our Lending Consultants who can help you through the process. Find out more about our award-winning home loans here.

Auswide Bank Ltd Australian Credit Licence 239686 is the credit issuer. This information provides general advice only. We do not provide advice based on any consideration of your personal objectives, needs or circumstances.