If you're fed up of dealing with the rental market, you may be looking to buy your first home and you may have been driving around those modern housing estates on the edge of your city. As you turn from street to street you will see plenty of properties that look the same, but perhaps you're not sure if that is the way that you want to go. Instead, you may need to be searching in a more mature neighbourhood, so that you can find a home that has some history and character. However, you do need to pay a lot more attention when you assess a property like this, and you will need to look below your feet for some of the answers. What do you need to think about?


Certainly, when you buy a new property you can expect it to be in good condition with no serious defects, as it will have been built using the latest technological know-how. Conversely, if you buy a home that has been around for a few generations then you can expect issues and will almost certainly find something going on beneath the surface.

Down Below

Many people in this situation will start off by looking inside and by checking the appliances, air conditioning and other "visible" elements. Instead, they should begin by looking down at the foundation.

Remember, a home is only as strong as its foundation and an older property may require some attention here. It may have been built on top of timber stumps as was the convention back then, but these will, inevitably, deteriorate over time.

Tell-Tale Signs

If you can see some tell-tale cracks that appear to be more of a "zigzag" than a straight line or may notice a loose floorboard here or there, then you will need to look much further. The foundation may have shifted to a degree and this can often be caused by subsidence or water table issues but if so, you may need to get the property restumped.

More Investigation

This is not a deal-breaker by any means and you can bring in a contractor to do the job for you, but you will need to factor it into your negotiation and, potentially, the money that you hand over to the seller. They may not be aware of the situation so you will both benefit from an inspection, but you will need to call in a restumping professional before you go too much further.