So you’ve found a property you’re keen on and you want to make an offer… What should you know about the property before you go ahead? Look at the main things, for starters, the roof… Find out what it’s made out of and what sort of ongoing maintenance it’ll need. The foundation. If the house has piles, check that they’re in good condition and properly braced. Retaining and party walls are important too, because they can cost quite a bit to repair. You’ll want to pay particular attention to large, structurally important walls whenever you look at a property. Check the type of water piping. Some, have a limited lifespan, and when they fail, they can cause leaks and floods. Wiring is another one. You need to look out for any signs that wiring is not performing as it should. This could be flickering lights, sparking plugs and sockets that are discolored. And you might want to check out the neighbouring fence. Boundary fences are generally the equal responsibility of you and your neighbours. So, if they’re not in good nick, you need to factor in sharing the cost to replace them. But, if you’re anything like me, chances are you don’t know an awful lot about roofing materials or pipe quality. That’s why it pays to hire an accredited property inspector – even if you think you do know your stuff. A good one will know what to look for and can produce a property inspection report – Which should identify any defects, urgent maintenance issues and any problems caused by gradual deterioration that you need to be aware of. What we’ve mentioned is not the be all and end all. Every property is different with its own set of considerations, so always make sure you get advice from a lawyer and an accredited property inspector. For more info, visit settled.govt.nz/learning and be sure to check out our handy property checklist.