All Topics / General Property / What to look for in a pre-settlement inspection

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  • Profile photo of depreciatordepreciator
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 541

    I was out of town over the weekend checking a new unit I’m about to settle on.

    Just thought if I’d let you know the sort of things I look for in case you take delivery of a new property.

    Now bear in mind, this isn’t a building inspection:

    1. Do the obvious things: test every door, window, drawer, powerpoint etc (take something to plug in), look for paint defects, get down on your hands and knees and look across the carpet – any raised bits caused by debris under the carpet will wear quickly. Check the joins in the carpet, too.

    2. Check to make sure you’ve got the right appliances and a cheaper model hasn’t been substituted at the last minute.

    3. Take a tape measure. If that 4×4 2nd bedroom seems a bit smaller than you thought it would be, you may find it is. Developers are allowed a bit of latitude, but if a 4×4 room has become a 4×3 you’d be doing something about it.

    4. Take a bucket. And accept the fact that the sight of you with a bucket won’t thrill the developer. Pour a bucket of water down the floor waste in the bathroom and the laundry. Tilers often put a rag down the floor waste when they’re working and neglect to remove it. (Some tilers throw their slurry down the waste, too, and it sets in the trap.) You want to find out pre-settlement if the waste is blocked, otherwise you’ll find out a year down the track when your tenant is running the bath and talking on the phone and the bath overflows.

    5. Take your bucket out onto the balcony and throw some water around. If it doesn’t drain toward the waste, you got a problem. (You should also check the fall to the waste in the bathroom and laundry, but chucking water around may not be an option inside.)

    6. This is a tricky one. Often, glass balcony doors are installed before railings. When the metal tradesmen are working with grinders, those sparks they throw off are molten steel. They hit glass and embed themselves. Then 6 months down the track, when the doors have copped some rain, those little bits of metal will start to rust. It’s pretty easy to spot glass that has been to close to a grinder.

    There are other things to look for, but those last ones don’t often occur to people. Make sure you take your time.


    Profile photo of ScreminScremin
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 448

    cool, cheers for this thred scott…

    Just about to settle on our first house!! Not new, but it has ahd the tenants from hell in there…. Locks are getting changed first thing!!!
    Oh, think I am being a bit rough. Maybe not tenants from hell, but they were really grotty with crap everywhere!!

    Anyone with tips for established houses??? Taking hairdryer to inspection plus the bucket is a great idea. Maybe I’ll sneak a hose in too to house the roof in case of leaks…


    Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

    Profile photo of RiskyRisky
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 146

    So true about the grinding near glass, I had the same problem when i built my steel patio on the rear of my ppor, took steps to stop the filings going into the pool so didnt get rust spots allover the pools floor, but didnt know what the little buggers could do to glass till i stood back to admire my handi work and saw the new etched glass window that wasnt etched an hour ago :( [grrr]

    Regards Risky

    If you want the rainbow youve got to put up with the rain!

    Profile photo of depreciatordepreciator
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 541

    Hi Steph,

    Older houses are different. There will always be problems. It’s like a new car vs a second hand car. Obviously prior to settlment you need to check that there have been no changes to the property since contract exchange.

    The biggest problem with new buildings is water penetration. Short-cuts taken with membranes and flashings can cause huge problems. These only become apparent after heavy rain – and there’s no sign of that. A hose can show up problems, but the angle of the hose spray needs to simulate the angle of rain to test window flashings in particular.

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