A Helpful Guide to House Inspections for First-time Homebuyers

Last Updated on March 4, 2019 by

Choosing a house can be a daunting and stressful task. But fear not—these tips will help you be better-equipped homebuyer

Just because a family member or a friend recommended the property to you, or you have read something about it on the Internet, does not guarantee that these claims are true. It is still imperative to see and experience the property first-hand so you can check it carefully and make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

In today’s real estate market, most properties on offer are mostly preselling houses and property developers’ agents would bring you to their model houses—both the dressed-up unit (the ones decorated and designed professionally) and the actual turnover unit, so make sure to grab the opportunity to visit both. And for first-time homebuyers, here are a few tips on what to do during these scheduled house inspections.

Bring a Camera or a Video Recorder, Pen, and Paper

Taking Photos or Video Recording Home Inspection Guide for First-time homebuyers
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It is typical for first-time buyers to see a few properties before making a final decision. However, as it is almost impossible for you to remember all the details of each property you visited, make sure that you bring a camera/video recorder, pen, and paper with you to take photos and notes of the positive and negative things that you have observed. You can also gather and keep the brochures or information sheets of the houses you have seen. All these would help you when reviewing and making your final decision.

Bring a Family Member or Friend during Your Visit

Family meeting real estate broker Home Inspection Guide for First-time homebuyers
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Even if you consider yourself a good observer, there are still things that you might overlook. It is best to have someone with you during the actual tripping so you have someone to discuss with later on. More eyes means more observation means better decision.

Prepare Your Checklist

Checklist Home Inspection Guide for First-time homebuyers
Photo via IngImage

First-time homebuyers may found themselves asking: “What am I actually looking for when I visit an open house?” Consider yourself informed. Below are some of the most important features of the house that you must pay attention to.

A. House Interior

1. Practicality of Floor Plan
Take note of the size of property (lot and floor) and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Is the house space maximized? Does the layout match your interest?

Each one of us prioritizes parts of the house differently. For instance, some people prefer bigger living and entertainment rooms for guests, as well as enough wardrobe space for clothes, while others put importance on kitchen and dining room. Measure the spaces to make sure that your appliances, furniture, and other belongings would fit. This may be difficult to visualize, so we suggest that you compare the dressed-up unit with the actual turnover house.

2. Method of Construction
You would not know this information unless you ask your agent. Is the house structurally sound? Will they construct it through traditional method of using hollow blocks and mixed cement? Will it be cast-in-place, or precast/prefabricated walls? Both methods have their own advantages so better research more on them to inform your buying decision.

3. Deliverables
Model houses always look pretty, but you must remember that these are decorated professionally. You will not live in a house like that, so do not forget to ask your agent what’s going to be included and what’s not. Ask if the walls already come painted and in what colors; same with tiles, flooring, and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Ask how the stairs look like when they deliver it and if there are enough power points placed in the house.

4. Quality of Materials Used
Scrutinize the windows, doorknobs, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, cabinets, stair railings, ceiling, and partitions, among many other things. Are they high quality or substandard? Do not be afraid to feel, tap, knock or open/close them. Good materials will last a lot longer and would save you money from repairs or buying replacements.

B. House Exterior

1. All about Roofing
Changing roofs is an expensive business, so see to it that it would last for 15–20 years. Clarify with your agent what type of materials will be used for the roof, gutters, and downpipes.

2. Extra Space
Aside from the lot for your house, do you have extra space for a garage, garden, laundry area, service kitchen, and storage? Know the boundaries of your home as opposed to your neighbor’s.

C. Neighborhood

1. Features of the Community
We may all not agree in terms of the amenities that we want to see in a community, but some developers offer more than enough, including swimming pool, clubhouse, park/open spaces, jogging paths, play area for kids and a basketball court.

2. Ambiance
Take note of the traffic situation, noise level, safety/security, neighborhood restrictions, fire protection, garbage collection service and even pet restrictions.

3. Accessibility to Basic Establishments
It is also important that a property is conveniently located near schools, your place of work, commercial centers, hospitals, church, and public transportation.

Once you have done all these, you must ask yourself: “Does it feel like home?” Next time you schedule a tripping to project sites or open houses, be a better-informed buyer by knowing the important things to inspect. Remember, spending 30 minutes to an hour on viewing a property will not hurt, especially if that is going to be your home for many years.

Happy house hunting!

This article was contributed by Camella.

To schedule a site visit and house viewing of Camella properties, call +63927 957 4570 or +632 226 3552. For more information, visit www.camella.com.ph or like “Camella Official” on Facebook and follow “@CamellaOfficial” on Twitter and Instagram.

Main image via Shutterstock


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