Something extra for a high-risk investment

Little do they know that some details not directly seen by the naked eye can give them the chills. Douglas Ralph of Snag & Inspect explains why prospective property buyers should be extra careful when it comes to putting their savings in a high-risk investment.

Benefits of snagging

Effective snagging means that all substandard issues are going to be addressed without waiting for them to manifest more obviously. It prevents damage to property, appliances, furniture and equipment. For example, the proper installation of AC systems will maximize its life span; faults in the foundation will be rectified, avoiding bigger cracks and wall/floor shifting; proper waterproofing prevents mould and moisture problems.

Accurate snagging also means accurate documentation; therefore, the real state of the property, when handed over to the buyer, will be verified.

If proper remedial work is made on an effectively inspected property, additional rework is avoided, leading to savings in time and money.

Proper snagging helps avoid disagreements among tenants, owners and developers as an accurate and objective inspection would help resolve issues even before they arise.

A comprehensive inspection report helps developers rectify all issues and further strengthens their commitment of quality to clients.

The most positively affected are the occupants of the property. On a daily basis, they benefit from the comfort and convenience that come with a healthy and safe environment.

Advice to would-be property buyers

Buying a property is a long-term commitment. If you are going to do it, give it the whole nine yards – do intensive research based on your needs, get legal advice, visit and compare different options and get professional inspection services.

In the Middle East, property inspection is rapidly being recognized as a necessary part of the process.Professional property inspection means that you will get to know more than what meets the eye.

Get your property inspector to make observations and recommendations about the following:
• Structural integrity
• Electrical systems
• HVAC systems
• Plumbing schemes and waterproofing
• Fire alarm systems
• Swimming pools, Jacuzzis

Beyond knowing that the house or villa is “okay” to occupy, the inspector will tell you if it meets UAE standards – if it was built in compliance with UAE codes, rules and regulations as well as specific rules in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah or wherever the property is located.

Again, it is important to get the services of a professional property inspector. As someone specializing in property inspection, he will objectively assess the property for decreased maintenance costs and for the longevity of the property.

Unforeseen snags after sealing the deal

Timing is essential to get the developer to rectify the property.

If the parties have already sealed the deal, but the buyer discovers problems in the property prior to handover, he should document this and ask for rectification. After all, the agreement should cover this as the buyer is entitled to receive the property in good condition.

It is advisable to get a comprehensive handover inspection before the ownership is transferred so that an objective assessment of the property is established.

A one-year warranty period is a common part of the agreement. In the one-year period after handover, general failings will be repaired by the developer.

If the snags are covered in the warranty, the new owner should bring it to the attention of the developer before the warranty period is over, and ask for repairs.

It is ideal to have the inspection service even before signing the contract. It verifies the value of the property and helps avoid limited options. It lets the buyer see existing problems and discover not-so-obvious issues.

This way, issues are resolved, and the buyer can foresee and manage future repair and maintenance costs.

What inspectors look out for
• The structural integrity of the building/apartment or villa in question
• Electrical systems including cables and other essential components
• HVAC systems that consist of air-conditioning, heat exchangers, ducts and others
• Plumbing schemes and waterproofing
• Fire alarm systems which usually consist of smoke or heat detectors, control panels, among others
• Swimming pools, Jacuzzis and related

Source: Alfred Ocianas, Special to Freehold
The writer is a freelancer


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