The risks of buying a recent reno

Lykke Wallpaper by Sandberg in Oat - kitchen

The allure of a shiny, newly renovated home is undeniable. But don’t just take those modern upgrades and fresh aesthetics at face value! It’s important not to overlook any potential risks that may be lurking beneath the surface.

In this day of renovation reality shows like The Block and Dream Home Makeover, everyone seems to be trying their hand at DIY. So, before committing to the purchase of that updated abode, it pays to do some critical checks and ace your building handover inspection.

In-depth inspection

Before any property contract goes unconditional, it’s crucial to enlist a licensed, experienced solicitor or conveyancer who should:

  • arrange a thorough Building and Pest Inspection to check for structural issues, faults, and other potential red flags (never, ever just rely on one provided by the sales agent!)
  • check any renovations have been approved by local authorities and meet current building codes and standards
  • investigate for any issues with ownership or development of the property.

This step will highlight potential issues upfront so you’re in a position of power to either demand repairs, negotiate the price down further, or even walk away.

Analyse the renovation history

You’re well within your right to request comprehensive records detailing the renovations carried out on the property. Understanding the scope of work and the contractors involved can shed light on the quality of the renovations. If possible, reach out to previous owners to gather additional insights.

Investigate the quality of materials

Not all renos are created equal! While some homeowners invest in high-quality materials, others may cut corners to save costs. Check for signs of sub-par materials such as easily damaged flooring, poorly painted surfaces, or flimsy fixtures.

Potential drainage issues

One commonly overlooked aspect is the drainage system. Improper disposal of construction materials, like leftover concrete, can lead to clogged drains, causing water buildup and potential flooding. Inspect all drainage areas, and if you suspect any issues, ideally get a CCTV drain inspection done.

Assess electrical systems

Renovations often involve updates to electrical systems, and it’s important to ensure that these vital components have been modernised and meet current safety standards. Faulty wiring could lead to a house fire, or the need for costly repairs down the line – so it’s worth hiring a professional to investigate before it’s too late.

Look for hidden defects

While a home may appear flawless at first glance, it’s essential to be vigilant for hidden defects. These can range from poor bathroom waterproofing, to concealed water damage, and shoddy workmanship that may not be immediately apparent. Termite damage or wood rot could even be disguised by new plasterboard and a layer of luxurious wallpaper – oh my!

So, while purchasing a renovated home offers many advantages, it’s not without risks. Conducting due diligence is paramount to making an informed decision, so you’ll have a home that you’re proud to call your own.