Remodeling surprises that could blow your budget

Hidden damage – You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive but less than 40 per cent of home buyers get their property inspected before they buy, according to Archicentre, the building advisory and design service of The Australian Institute of Architects.

“It is very important that homebuyers know the condition of a property before they buy to limit the risk to their bank balance” says Archicentre manager, Michael Appleby,”Some of the most common faults and defects found by our inspectors include the need to restump the property, termite infestation, structural faults and the need for expensive plumping and wiring to be replaced as urgent safety issues.”

Other hidden costs are asbestos removal and damp issues.

“In Sydney and Melbourne, a lot of older terraced homes have issues with rising damp” says Rich Harvey, president of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agents Association of Australia (REBAA).

“Be wary of rising damp especially in properties that are 80 to 100 years old,” he says. “Look at the paint work and see if there is any discoloration coming up above the architraves or bubbling in the appearance of the paint that is evidence of excess moisture. There are ways to treat it but treating rising damp is quite expensive.”

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