In the previous article I gave some advice on how to carry out an internal inspection of resale properties. In this article you’ll find specific advice on inspecting their kitchens and bathrooms.
The two major areas to scrutinise in kitchens are the plumbing and appliances – and for bathrooms, the plumbing and bathroom fittings.
- While inspecting the kitchen, pay particular attention to the fittings and appliances, quality of the carpentry, and the amount of storage space. Also, keep an eye out for signs of water leakage. It may be easier to inspect the plumbing while visiting the smallest room in the house, but you should check it out in the kitchen as well.
- Check the condition of the floor. Are there any signs of water leakage? (Look for discoloured grouting or paintwork).
- Has the kitchen sink been sealed around its edges?
- Check that the sink is fitted properly and is not loose (try rocking it) and that the taps are not loose and that they all work properly.
- Check the sink for denting, chipping, discolouration and lime scale deposits. Do you recognise the brand name or is it one of the flimsy, cheap unbranded variety?
- Does water run out of the sink quickly? If it is slow, the pipes may be partially blocked or too narrow.
- Check under the sink to see if there has been any water leakage.
- Check that the isolation taps (usually under the sink) are working.
- Look at the appliances. Are they suitable, do they work? Are there any problems such as an oven door that will not open easily? Do you recognise the brand names?
- Is there sufficient worktop and eating space?
- Are the worktops marked?
- Have the washing machine and dishwasher been plumbed in properly and connected to waste outlets?
- Check the quality and condition of the kitchen cabinets.
- Check that there’s sufficient storage space for your needs.
It’s quite easy to spend a few minutes inspecting the bathroom without being rushed. Just say that you need to answer a call of nature and you’ll be shown to the smallest room in the house.
Don’t forget to lock the door behind you and flush the toilet before leaving!
- Check the condition of the floor. Are there any signs of water leakage (look for discoloured grouting or paintwork)?
- Is sanitary ware fitted properly? Is it loose (try rocking it)?
- Are the taps loose? Do they work properly?
- Check that the water isolation taps are working.
- While checking the water isolation taps you should be able to check the type of plumbing, which will probably be pipe-in-pipe, copper, or grey plastic.
- Manufacturers of quality sanitary ware and taps usually mark their equipment with their brand name and some other information. If you don’t recognise the name, jot it down and check it out later. If the sanitary ware and taps are not branded, they’re probably of average or poor quality.
- While visiting the smallest room, take the top of the WC cistern and look inside. If there is a lot of calcium deposited, just remember that there may be a similar amount or possibly more, helping to block water pipes.
- Check that the sink, bath and shower have been properly fitted and sealed around the edges.
- Check under the sink and bath (if possible) to see if there has been any water leakage.
- Check that the water runs out of the sink, bath, shower, etc quickly. If it is slow, the pipes may be partially blocked or too narrow.
- Flush the toilet to make sure the cistern fills properly.
- Are there small bins the bathroom for toilet paper? If there are, the soil pipes and/or drains may be inadequate and liable to block.
- Are there heated towel rails, shaver points or any other useful extras?
The lists above are illustrative but not exhaustive.
Professional inspection of resale property
Before making an offer on a resale property engage the professional services of a property surveyor to inspect the property, prepare a report on its condition, and give you an independent appraisal of its market value.
The report should cover the following areas:
- Damp proof course.
- Signs of damp and if so the seriousness, cause and likely cost of remedial work required.
- Checks of under floor areas.
- Signs of cracking in walls and columns.
- Quality and condition of cement in concrete constructed buildings.
- Quality and condition of woodwork including checks for dry and wet rot and insect damage.
- Drains and manholes.
- Septic tank.
- Electrical wiring including an earth leakage test.
- Heating and air conditioning equipment.
- Swimming pool and related equipment.
- Roof insulation type and quality.
- Roof tiling.