Property Max Check: 10 Things To Consider Before Purchasing Your Property
Published on Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 6:09:46 PM by Mr. Root Admin

Existing Properties:
New Properties:

Types of Construction Materials Used
Compliance with Sales & Purchase agreement
Checks for Illegal Renovations
Workmanship Compliances
Termites & Pests
Plumbing and Electrical Safety Check
Water Pressure & Electrical Safety Check
Sanitary Fittings & Wares Check
Light & Ventilation
Doors, Windows and Locks
Dampness & Leaks
Dampness & Leaks
Cracks & Settlement
Slopes, retaining walls
Slopes, retaining walls

It’s been said so often it has become a cliché – the family home is usually the biggest investment anyone ever makes. Yet too many people launch themselves blindly into it without sufficient care.

It’s hard to imagine a car buyer going ahead without first checking over the motor or at least having a test drive. A house buyer outlaying eight or ten times as much often does not do just that!

A Leap of Faith in a house Purchase or Renovations may ultimately result in extra costs & expense, heartache and diminished property value.

Before embarking on your inspection, you will need to take a ladder, a long shank screwdriver, a good torch and a power point tester (available inexpensively from most large hardware and electrical stores)



Check the condition of fences and gates. Examine the base of Steel gates and fence
Posts for rusts and corrosion and if any water is “ponding” inside the frames. Tell tale signs are evidence of rusty water and floor stains. These are the areas of greatest deterioration that will result in early deterioration.
Look for large trees that are too close to the house. These could cause structural subsidence and overhanging branches (or even entire trees) falling on your property and lives in strong wind and storms; look for evidence of Termites.
Make sure house perimeter drains are not cracked or in disrepair affecting proper discharge flow of rainwater.
It is also worthwhile noting the location of poisonous trees and shrubs which could harm children and pets.
Retaining walls & Slopes – check for any cracks and bulging in the walls and slopes; check if the drains are in good condition; and if any signs of erosion; take note these may not be apparent if inspections are done during the dry season. Check if the weep holes (drainage holes to allow water to seep out from behind the retaining walls) are not plugged.


Lean your ladder against the guttering and look for a wavy roof line. This may indicate a structural problem (see “roofspace”).
Many roof overhang (eaves) designs do not have a ceiling; with exposed timber rafters. however these gaps are also prone to birds, bats and other vermin entry. Look for signs of bird droppings, urine or excrement odor within ceiling & roof spaces.
Ensure that valley and eaves guttering are free from holes and rust. Even small holes can create large leaks. Extensive replacement is often necessary.


Look for sagging roof framing, cracked or broken tiles, rusty iron roofing and leaking ridges or valleys. A defective roof can be a very costly repair item.
Check for illegal & damaged electrical wiring. Do not touch!
A pungent odour or rat-like droppings could indicate the presence of vermin e.g. bats
Note whether or not the ceiling has been insulated.
Water tanks in roof spaces are usually difficult or dangerous to access; however where access is safe; check for any leaks (water marks ceiling below) and the supporting timber frames of the water tank for sagging or deterioration;


Check for concrete cancer indicated by surface cracked concrete and rusty exposed steel bars.


Check for quality of wall plastering to be flat and smooth; and without any cracked-egg shell pattern which may indicate wall plastering failure;
Look for cracks and general movement and be particularly wary of freshly painted or wallpapered areas. In these cases, look for evidence of recently filled cracks,
Carefully inspect brick walls for signs of dampness. This may be evident through the presence of white or brownish deposits. Rising dampness may also cause skirting and architraves to rot, and paint and wallpaper to lift. Rising dampness or salt damp can be particularly expensive problems to cure which may be due to burst pipes or roof leaks.
Tap solid brick walls for a hollow sound or a change in tone. Both could indicate a plastered or rendered over patch-up of a significant rising damp problem.
Lightly tap walls and tiled surfaces with the handle of your screwdriver. A hollow sound could mean loose plaster or tiles.

Electrical Systems

Check that the light switches and power points work;
Test all power points with the tester. This will indicate outlets that are incorrectly wired. The most common problem is power points which are not earthed;
Look for signs of burns around switches, fittings and fuses.
Wiring in many older homes is quite sound, provided that it is left intact. If additional power points or lights are required, the entire electrical system may need replacing.
Replace all old fuses with new 150mA ELCB circuit breakers.

Plumbing System

Buried water pipes (underground and within walls) built approximately before 1995 in Malaysia were of steel galvanized pipes which may rusts over time. Look out for water stains or damaged paint at walls and windows which may indicate lateral dampness due to leaky or burst pipes.
Check all plumbing fittings for cracks or leaks.
Test the water pressure in hot and cold taps. It is worthwhile turning on several taps simultaneously to ascertain if there is any appreciable pressure drop.
Partially fill the bath or laundry tubs and observe whether or not the water drains away properly. A sluggish flow or gurgling in the pipes could indicate that the sewer drains are damaged or blocked.

Light and Ventilation

Check for excessive condensation and mould growth on windows and walls. Locate the source of musty smells. The causes could be: roof leaks, lack of insulation or often a combination of these. Make sure that the windows can be opened and check for broken window panes.


Check that ceilings are straight and true, and look for cracks or signs of movement at the cornices.
Look for water stains and mould growth which could indicate excessive condensation or roof leaks.


Check the structural condition and water-tightness of rooms and walls of garages and sheds. Look for rust stains and cracking of concrete which may indicate concrete cancer.
Look for water stains on timbers and metal sheeting.
Look for fire hazards, loose or broken power points and badly wired electrical fittings.
Examine the house for appropriate room layout, orientation to the sun, views, relation to neighbours, traffic noise, and if not optimal, whether the house can be improved at an affordable cost.

A building inspection doesn’t cost much, but could potentially save you thousands. It can uncover illegal renovations, termite damage and structural problems that may be concealed by paint or render.
More home buyers are requesting a sustainability assessment given the price of power and the potential impact on the environment. An environmentally friendly home will include features that reduce energy and water consumption and improve energy efficiency. Your reduced consumption will not only be helping the environment, but will also save you money on your energy bills.

If the house has recently been renovated, or if extensions have been carried out, check with the local council to ensure that a building permit was obtained. Illegal alterations could become your responsibility, particularly if they contravene the building regulations. Always insists on obtaining an original Certificate of Fitness for Occupation for both new and renovated homes as well.

If you are buying with a view to doing extensions in the future, check council requirements for set-back distances, maximum site coverage and restrictions on types of construction. You may need professional advice. When in doubt contact Architect Centre to provide an independent inspection and advice.

Cheng, says:
  Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 3:40:45 PM
  Would appreciate your valuable advice and comments. Bought a sub sale property (transaction just completed last week) and we noticed termite infestation few days ago. What can be done at this stage? Are purchasers of sub sale property being protected by any act or law? Thank you.

Lucerne, says:
  Monday, March 22, 2010 at 2:05:04 PM
  wood can last more than 100yrs if they are properly chemically treated, The problem is, the developers and contractors nowaday only look at profits and buy the cheapest timbers. (without or inadequately treatments). Some kind of enforcement are needed where the architects or third party (eg SIRIM) should certified and endorsed the wood supplies and ensure it is adequately treated eg 5.6kg preservatives/m3 and 5mm penetration after pressurized treatment. We should blame the developers/architects, they should hire qualified engineers to inspect the wood from contractors to protect buyer interests. Treated wood is only slight higher prices but it can last much longer. (and safer)-- prevention is better than cure.

Jamie, Phuah says:
  Monday, May 24, 2010 at 1:26:31 PM
  I'm planning to renovate my 2 storey semi-d house in the near future. I want it to be a green home as much as it can be but at the same time contemporary and easy to maintain. The land area is 3600sf and the built-up is abt 4000sf. How much will it cost roughly if I do not stress on expensive tiles?

Architect Centre, says:
  Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 1:15:14 PM
  Since this is an existing house, a rough cost can only be established after appraisal of the following :
1. Copy of the approved building plan of the existing house
2. Condition of the existing house - ie will the renovation include structural changes and replacement of the existing plumbing and electrical wiring,roofing etc.
4. The extent of the proposed renovation works.
3. Location and age of the house

Chee Whyi, Ting says:
  Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 9:14:30 AM
  I did bought a new condominium and soon will get the key. I plan to get someone to inspect my house but i dont know how much is the cost and what i should do? My house is 1007 psf. please advise me accordingly.

Bala, says:
  Friday, December 10, 2010 at 4:16:41 PM
  Hi I'd like to know if there is any way to get a formal assessment of zink roofing. The zink has too many leaks yet my landlord does not want to repair them. I want to be able to show what an independent assessment reveals so he knows I'm not just making it up.


manoharan, chinniah says:
  Friday, February 4, 2011 at 10:44:47 AM
  1.Currently my semi D house is under renovation.I realise the sewer line and the kitchen drain pipe are laid 6 inches below surface.What is the requirement?
2.Where can i find the guide line for the drainage and sewer line requirements and specificatons.
please advice .Thank you

Pang, Chee says:
  Friday, January 13, 2012 at 8:56:19 PM
  Is there a possibility to convert exist
house of Intermediate Double-Storey into a 2 and half storey with attic window roof top?We need 2 extra rooms. Currently our roof top consist of a Water Tank. Appreciate your guidance.

Jamm, says:
  Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 10:25:09 AM
  These is some illegal extension at my condominium which has closed up the air-well at the lower floor. The function of air-well is for the air ventilation and direct sunlight purposes. I did made this complaint to DBKL, BOMBA, HDA and etc. Even though there were actions taken to inspect and issue warning letter to demolish the illegal extension but still no action from the owners yet since last 7 months.

My point of view to this complaint is because i feel its really dark at the corridor even during day time. In addition, it is danger to my life if there is any occurrence of fires. The SMOKE have no way out where the SMOKE is the fist killer of fire occurrence.

I would be appreciated to receive your professional advise and further action that I can take to the aforementioned.

Should you need any further info, please do not hesitate to email or contact me at 0162825436.

Desperate, says:
  Monday, April 16, 2012 at 9:46:46 AM
  I bought an end lot unit(new property) that cost RM40k more than the intermediate unit. The sales person said that all end lots come with extra land of at least 5ft. The SPA states the land area but does not mention the extra land. Now that the property is ready for inspection, we realise that the "extra-land" is not more than an odd triangular gap of at most 3ft that narrows to 1ft and is not accessible from the front. This gap makes the property undesirable and is certainly not something one would pay an extra RM40k for. Is there anything that can be done at this stage to prevent diminished property value?

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