A few fine cracks here and there aren’t a huge concern but when they are more than 5 millimeters wide, you might have cause to be afraid. Very afraid.
Jim Elliott, principal of Sydney construction company Elliott Projects, says large cracks could be a sign a house has underpinning problems that can’t be fixed.
“Big cracks could mean major structural issues,” Elliott says.
Likewise, mildew can be tricky – if not impossible – to eradicate. Be wary of homes with damp walls and musty smells. Evidence of crystallizing salts in the walls is a warning sign that moisture could be penetrating the building, Elliott says.
“If it’s a small, localized section of damp and the building has been there for some time, it’s probably not as much of an issue, but if it’s extensive, you’ve got a problem.”
3. Ugly kitchen and bathroom
Owners of pink bathtubs and floor-to-ceiling timber laminate kitchens, rejoice! Even the ugliest kitchens and bathrooms can be prettied up or ripped out and replaced relatively easily.
“Old-fashioned, worn-out looking bathrooms and kitchens you can always fix,” Elliott says.
4. Dark rooms
Open-plan living is all the rage these days, so much so that bathrooms are occasionally incorporated into master bedrooms with nary a low shelf for privacy. (Seriously, architects, can we stop this trend?)
Happily, traditional floorplans with separate kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms can usually be opened up by knocking down a wall or two, creating a modern, open-plan living space.
“Skylights and windows can be used to bring light into dark rooms too,” Elliott says.
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