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There are a range of things that should always be checked before purchasing a home, from the structural integrity of the house to the plumbing system. Yet many prospective home buyers forget to check the condition of the home appliances. In comparison to buying a home, the cost of a household appliance may seem negligible. However, replacing multiple major appliances can easily set you back thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

Before purchasing your new home, it’s important to take the time to inspect the condition of all included household appliances. This includes checking the age and condition of each of the following major appliances and ensuring that they work:

  • Dishwasher
  • Air Conditioner
  • Hot Water System
  • Oven/Stove Top

1) Dishwasher

Out of all of the standard household appliances that a house may come with, a dishwasher takes the longest to check as you will want to run a full cycle, so it is best to check this first. Make sure to test it on a wash cycle that includes heating in order to test the heating element. While the cycle is running, check for water leaks below the dishwasher and under the sink and look out for any rust or corrosion that could indicate leaks.

Once the cycle has finished, open the door to see if steam comes out as this will tell you whether or not the heating element is working. Additionally, check that there is no water sitting inside the bottom of the dishwasher or inside the pump as remaining water can indicate a malfunction in the system.

2) Air Conditioner

In the hot and humid Queensland climate, a working air conditioner is a must. If you’re purchasing a home with a built in air conditioner, taking the time to check it’s condition can save you money that would otherwise be spent to replace it soon after you move in.

Firstly, check that the air conditioners and remote controls work. Next, check how old each air conditioner in the house is. To do this, simply take note of the brand and model number found on the outdoor unit of the air conditioner. Using this information, any quality air conditioning technician will be able to tell you how old the unit is over the phone. If an air conditioner is 10 or more years old, it will more than likely need to be replaced soon after you purchase the house.

Additionally, inspect each air conditioning unit for signs of damage including loose wires, leaking water, and unusual sounds while operating.

3) Hot Water System

A hot water system is a household appliance that is often forgotten until it stops working. As hot water systems are an essential home appliance that can be expensive to replace, it’s best to check the condition of the hot water system in any home that you are considering purchasing.

Similarly to air conditioners, if a hot water system is 10+ years old it is likely on its last legs. This should be taken into account when buying a home as hot water systems can cost anywhere from $1000 to $7000+. Additionally, check the maintenance history of the hot water system as neglecting to properly maintain a hot water heater can void the warranty and cause the system to fail prematurely.

4) Stove Top & Oven

Whether your prospective new home is fitted with gas or electric cooking appliances, it is important to check that they are in good working condition before finalising the purchase. This is because a faulty oven is not only costly to replace, it can also be very dangerous.

During your inspection of the oven and stove top, check that all of the burners are working and that the oven can heat to temperature. Additionally, check that the oven seals are tightly fitted and working as they should as well as small details such as the clock and timer function.

Though the cost of a household appliance may seem insignificant when compared with buying a home, taking the time to check over the appliances mentioned above will help ensure that you aren’t left with hefty repair and replacement bills once the dust settles.