Buying a home is a big step – so make sure you do it right! Execute all the necessary checks before you sign anything. To ensure you are investing in a fruitful future there are some essential structural checks and inquiries you should make.

Check the structure

Inquire about when the home was built and whether any renovations were done in the last five years. The foundations should be sturdy so check the wall for cracks as these will indicate shifting foundations.

Be sure to inspect the outside of the building for any signs of cracking or shifting. If cracks are severe you will probably also notice that doors do not open and close properly and windows are misaligned or have cracked glass. Sloping floors are a sign of pitch in the foundation. Gaps will appear between the walls and the ceiling if shifting has started. Be sure to bring this up with the relevant parties to avoid getting stuck with a home that is falling apart or you could always try to renegotiate the price instead.

Check for signs of moisture penetration

If the foundations have shifted it is likely that there will be water around the perimeter of the property and in crawl spaces. Check inside all cupboards and cabinets to ensure there are no signs of damp or mould.

Check the state of the plumbing

If there are no signs of damp or mould, the plumbing is probably functioning but check drainage, water pressure and temperature. Investigate all taps, showers and baths to be sure the pressure is adequate and that the water does, in fact, get hot and then drain away. Also be sure to ask about the size of the geyser once you have established that it is functioning and have a look at where it is.

Check the wiring and electricity

Are there sufficient electrical sockets and are they functioning properly? Suspect wiring can be very dangerous and expensive to replace. Have a look at the fuse box and take note of how old it looks. Inquire whether the seller knows when last any electrical checks were done and confirm that this was done by a professional.

Check the ceilings

If the ceiling is sagging and looks like a parachute then it could be indicative of water damage or structural issues. If there are darker paint spots these may be a sign of leaking and mould.

If your home passes all these inspections then grab the keys – you’re moving to your new home!