Property inspection checklist


Location is usually one of the first decisions you will make when you start house hunting. Once you have a shortlist of areas, it’s a good idea to look at properties in and around there to see what development is taking place.

It’s also a good idea to find out any plans for the area, like new schools or shopping precincts.

Condition of the home

Homes vary in age and condition, so it’s important to understand the general condition of the property you’re viewing.

It’s important to remember that although it’s a good idea to find out what condition the home is in, you may need to consider what aspects you will be willing to compromise on.

What to look out for during a property viewing:

  • Building materials - Find out what materials the building is made out of, including the exterior walls and roof.
  • Insulation, ventilation and heating - Find out about the homes insulation, ventilation, sources of heating and whether the windows are double glazed.
  • Walls and ceilings - Check that the walls and ceilings are in good condition.
  • Doors and windows - Check the condition of all doors and windows and see if they open and shut properly.
  • Electrical and gas - Check the power points, lighting and cooking facilities. If the home is connected to gas, check or turn on the outlets.
  • Plumbing - Check the shower pressure, toilets and cisterns.
  • Drainage and spouting - Look at the drains and check the spouting.
  • Exterior - Check the outside walls, roofs and gutters and look at the condition of the decks, piles, garden and lawns.

Do your homework

Before you purchase a property, we recommend that you get your own independent legal advice and consider viewing or commissioning specialist reports.

It‘s important that the Title, Land Information Memorandum (Council LIM report) and other documents, such as plans, that relate to the building or any renovations, are checked. Watch our guide on LIM reports here.

You may also want to run these property documents past your solicitor. Read our step-by-step buying guide for more information on finding a solicitor.

Personal requirements

Everyone has their own personal tastes and needs, and while some houses may be perfect as is, some may require a few changes or modifications.

Here’s a list of a few things you may want to take into consideration:

  • Style of the home - Will you be updating the colour scheme, carpet, window dressings, kitchen or bathroom?
  • Size of the home - Are there enough bedrooms, living areas and bathrooms, and are they big enough for your requirements? Can you make extensions to the property? 
  • Storage - Check for storage options like cupboards, garaging, and attics
  • Landscaping - Do you want to change/update the garden? 
  • Children - Do you need a bath or a well-fenced property? 
  • Pets - Is the property fenced and is there a pet door or enough room for your dog to run around?

Other considerations

  • How much are the rates? 
  • Are there body corporate fees? 
  • Are there large or protected trees on the property? 
  • Has any additional work been done? Do they have the right consents? 
  • Are there any other things you need to be aware of, like jointly owned driveways?

More information

Buying a house is often the biggest investment most people make, so you want to make sure you get it right. We know that isn’t always easy so we’ve compiled a handy list of tips to help you get started in your search for a new home.

Browse more of our tips for buyers