Daily Bulletin

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Sydney’s antiquated plumbing systems are giving would-be renovators nightmares as they attempt to revitalise some of the city’s older properties. 

With a shortage of houses for sale or to rent, rental price increases and interest rate fluctuations, property has been a hot topic in the past few years. Many investors and home-buyers have seen the market conditions as a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on renovations to older homes in the city. 

These grand old dames in established areas of Sydney have been screaming for a make-over for years, and as savings rates increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, the cashed-up looked for ways to put their money to work. 

For those who entered the market without sufficient due diligence, costs are starting to bite. 

The renovator’s challenge

During the pandemic, there was a significant increase in the percentage of houses being bought ‘sight unseen.’ 

While new marketing tools helped open up the nationwide real estate market to anyone with a computer and sufficient spare cash, these purchases were not without risk. 

In general, property purchases tend to be a large investment – one best examined in person to determine the true condition of the asset. 

In the past few years, a lack of insight into the condition of the property was compounded by successive waves of lockdowns which made it more difficult to organise building inspections. 

This, coupled with fierce competition for property and pressure from real estate agents and vendors to purchase without conducting any inspections, has resulted in some nasty surprises. 

Old pipes wash away nothing but dreams

One of the costliest challenges renovators are facing relates to the antiquated plumbing systems still present in many older houses in Sydney. 

Pipework is typically out of sight and out of mind until an obvious problem arises. But the reality is that old pipes are prone to leaks and depending on the materials used can even make occupants sick. 

Advice for homeowners

Anyone buying property, whether to live in, to renovate, or as an investment property, is advised to do their due diligence before committing to a property.

Those who find themselves dealing with old plumbing systems should get in touch with their trusted Sydney plumbers as early as possible because a nationwide shortage of plumbers is making it challenging to get tradies onsite. 

Planning early will help avoid delays. 

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