What to look out for before buying

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

This is by means means an exhauting list, but these exhasting tasks should be carried out before putting in an offer to purchase a property:

  • Always think ahead - a double storey home, for example, may not be as practical once the kids have grown up and moved out.

  • Think of possible opportunities for alterations and additions.

  • With regards to homes built near rivers or streams, investigate the flood line restrictions that are imposed by the local municipality.

  • Water damage and rising damp, caused by ineffective waterproofing methods, can become an expensive problem to rectify.

  • Flaking and bubbling paint means damp ceilings or walls.

  • Inspect the roof for structural failure, which is indicated by sagging or deformation along the roof lines.

  • Structural cracks, which can be visible on either side of a wall could be a sign of a failure in a property’s foundation, or even massive structural damage.

  • Excessive use of plastering and patching materials on the interior of a home’s walls could be indicative of severe structure problems.

  • Take special note of diagonal cracks running up towards the corners of door- and window-frames.

  • Once the construction of a home is completed, such structural issues can be extremely difficult and expensive to repair.

  • Consult the local municipality as to whether or not all structures on a property are approved, and that the buildings fall within building lines.

  • Consider the current zoning of a property as this will affect any future building plans.

  • Existing pipelines, servitudes and cables should be represented on all approved plans.

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