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Rodents. Have they moved into your home yet?

While winter often brings with it gloves and scarfs, it also brings something else. Rodents.

During the colder winter months, rodents such as rats and mice are on the move, often into a nice warm home. If homeowners aren’t careful, before you know it, they will be moving into yours and settling in.

The kitchen and bin areas of the home are high value targets for rats and mice, often providing them with warmth, food and water. While it might be great for them, this is not the case for you. Not only do they transmit diseases and can carry in other vermin such as fleas, ticks and lice; they can also be responsible for structural damage, and have even started fires in the home by chewing through electrical wires. These are problems that can go unchecked.

While having just one rodent doesn’t sound like a serious problem, it can soon become a much larger issue. A mouse’s gestation period is about three weeks long. At the end of these three weeks, they can have a litter of 3 to 14 strong. This can occur 5 to 10 times a year, and their breeding cycle is not limited to a certain season, with breeding occurring through the year.

The following steps are recommended to help prevent picking up an unwanted boarder:

  • Seal cracks and install weather strips at the bottom of exterior doors
  • Trim any branches that overhang the home
  • Plant any vegetation at minimum of 12 inches away from the house
  • Keep the interior of the house clean
  • Store all food, pet food and food scraps or garbage properly in sealed containers
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or pet food out freely overnight

A single mouse in the house can soon become a colony if left unchecked.

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Questions to ask at an open home that can save you money!

An open home is the perfect opportunity to gather valuable information about a property you’re looking to purchase.  By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to determine exactly what you think the property is worth and place your offers accordingly to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.

Here are the 3 best questions you can ask the listing agent in order to get the most useful information and potentially save yourself thousands:

  1. How long has the property been on the market?

This is a very important question because it can let you whether you need to act fast or it can indicate whether you have more bargaining power.  If a home is recently listed and there is a lot of interest, you might want to act faster so you don’t miss out.  On the other hand, if a property has been on the market for a long time, you need to find out why.  Most commonly this is because of price, but there might be other underlying issues as well. For example, there could be major issues with the property that aren’t apparent to the naked eye like:

  • Is it located in a flood zone?
  • Is there structural damage?
  • Is it heritage listed making possible renovations difficult?

These issues can be expensive for the buyer to undertake so finding out before you make an offer can help you negotiate a fair price if you still want to purchase.

  1. Why are the owners selling?

The answer to this question can help in many different ways.  If the agent seems reluctant to say why, it may mean that the sellers want to leave because they feel the area is dangerous, inconvenient or perhaps there have been recent council changes in zoning that will change the neighbourhood etc.

Alternatively, if they are selling in due to an unforeseen circumstance and, you may be able to get a great price in return for a fast sale.

  1. Has there been a recent building and pest inspection done on the property?

If there is a building and pest inspection report provided, make sure to look at it carefully.  Issues such as structural damage or termites can cost thousands to fix so it’s crucial you know what you are getting into before purchasing.  The knowledge a good report can provide can give you great insight into what the property is worth.

If there is no report provided, make sure to get an inspection done before purchasing – especially if the house is going to auction.  Houses that are sold at auction are unconditional.  This means they are not subject to a cooling off period or building and pest clause so it’s important to go in prepared with the information.  The last thing you’d want is to purchase a home at auction for a premium price, only to find out later that there is $50,000 worth of termite damage to fix!

 

If you need an independent pre-purchase building and pest inspection done, contact APM Solutions directly on (07) 3828 2020 or via email at admin@apmsolutions.com.au for a FREE quote today.  Mention this post and receive 10% off your first inspection!

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Don’t Let Your Home Slip Through the Cracks

For most families, buying a house is one of the biggest financial investments and often takes many years to realise this dream. While it goes without saying that it is essential to choose the right property, often thorough building inspections are overlooked. In fact, issues like cracking in a home have the potential to cause disastrous outcomes for houses and their owners. It can be almost equally alarming to the seller as it is to a potential buyer. Not only can cracking be expensive to fix, but it can also be a big safety concern for anyone wishing to live in the residence.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom.
 The reality is that most houses, even new 
ones, will have some cracks or show signs of cracking. The benefit of early identification and management of these cracks is the increase in safety and value of the property! Below is a brief guide to identify the severity of visible cracking when looking at a property.

Types of Cracks

Hairline Cracks

Hairline cracks are generally less that 0.1mm wide and deemed negligible.

Fine Cracks

These are typically up to 1mm thick and generally have a very slight impact. While they can be noticeable, they usually do not require repair or can be easily treated for aesthetic purposes using normal decoration.

Distinct Cracks

Distinct cracks are between 2 and 5mm thick and may cause doors and windows to stick. Although these have a slight impact, they can be filled easily.

Wide Cracks

If the crack is between 5 and 15mm thick, it is classified as a wide crack and have a moderate level of impact. These can be fixed through brickwork and possibly replacing some parts of the wall. With wide cracks, doors and windows may experience sticking, service pipes may fracture and weather tightness is often impaired.

Extensive Cracks

Extensive cracks are between 15 and 25mm wide and have can have a severe level of impact. Fixing these cracks can require major repair work involving breaking out and/or replacing sections of walls. Door and window frames may appear distorted and floors may noticeably slope. Service pipes will be disrupted, walls may noticeably lean or bulge and there will be some loss of bearing in beams.

Structural Damage

Anything greater than 25mm in width generally means there is structural damage to the building. These may cause the building to be dangerously instable meaning repair work for structural damage can require partial or complete rebuilding. Signs of structural damage include broken windows with distortion, beams experiencing loss of bearing and walls leaning badly.

Using a reputed, proven and thorough building inspection service like APM Solutions will ensure your home conforms to the Building Standards & Tolerances of Queensland. This is beneficial for the following reasons:

  1. Early identification of potential structural issues
  2. Avoiding investing in an unsafe property or one that will require exhausting and expensive repairs
  3. Negotiate for a price that budgets for necessary repairs
  4. Foresee issues that may impact further in the future

Contact APM Solutions directly on (07) 3828 2020 or via email at admin@apmsolutions.com.au for a competitive quote!