Happy house hunting tips

it was swell


Guest post written by Kevin, while I am out at work.

We’ve been thinking about starting to look for a house to buy for quite a while now. We have of course moved around a bit recently, but finally arrived at the place we are going to stay for the next few years, so it’s high time we bought a house for the kids to grow up in. And us to grow old in.

little bed thieves

Buying a home is the biggest, and most important thing purchase we’ll ever make – I can’t think of anything much bigger apart from an island in the Waitemata. So it is imperative to make sure we are aware of any underyling problems a house might have. Rushing in and making a bad decision could leave us in a lot of hot water – in the shape of unexpected and expensive construction costs. So this is why we view potential properties with a critical eye – and we will make sure we have a good list of things to keep an eye out for. So nobody gets carried away and we buy a dud!

Our magic checklist makes sure we do a proper examination of our potential dream home. It’s easy (for Charlotte) to be distracted by pretty colours and a nice kitchen – and while that’s all good and well, she also needs to check the structural things like any good engineer’s daughter really ought to do.

My work room

Wear and tear is easy to see, and often easily fixed. But structural issues are often hidden to the untrained eye – and a lot more expensive to resolve.

We never realised you could get a checklist pre-made, but there are actually a few home viewing checklists you can buy online. Everest does a good one – their list of over 50 questions makes sure you can thoroughly check any potential property and not get caught out.

Our number one rule when we find a house we like is to look past the lovely bits and see if we can find anything that might be structurally amiss. Because if we do find something that needs to be repaired it should come off the asking price – or if it’s bad, to be completely avoided.

It always pays to pay a professional to check the property as well if it’s definitely the one you want. In New Zealand Charlotte’s dad always did the big crawl under the house and knocking on walls for us to check for structural soundness.


It’s imperative you check flood records for the area as well as any local planning applications. And remember to visit in the morning and evening – and on a weekend if you can, before you sign on the dotted line. If you aren’t shy talk to some of your potential new neighbours – knock on doors and ask them what it’s like to live there.

We have looked at quite a few properties over the years and bought one or two of them, and if you stick to these basic principles above, as we have, you can’t go wrong.

Happy house hunting.

farewell beautiful garden






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *