At Hppi, we understand the house buying process can be painful and expensive. Paying for a house pre purchase inspection on every house you look at is far too costly. The latest data tells us that the house buying process is typically 9-14 weeks long and, in that time, you might view upwards of 50 houses. We wanted to provide some open home tips to assist you in assessing your investment.

We’ve captured a few ‘tips and tricks’ to help you make a more educated analysis on the houses that you’re interested in. Our reports aim to give you a more educated idea on the condition of the home, this can affect its value and in turn, your negotiation approach. We do not want to deter any potential offers, in fact, it’s the opposite. Our reports simply ensure that the offers you’re making, are in line with the value of the home.

We’ve pulled together the following open home tips for you to use during your house buying journey. We always recommend a professional house inspection if there is intent to make an offer on a house, but the below tips can help you get to that stage.


  • Use bad weather to your advantage:

Trudging from open home to open home in the rain isn’t fun, but it can help you find potential issues in the houses you’re viewing.

During winter especially, signs of mould are more evident. Use your nose; we all know the smell of a damp room. Mold removal agents also have a distinct smell, so you’ll know if any rooms in particular have had a thorough clean. Have a closer look for signs of mould around windowsills and ceilings.

Rain also requires drainage; poor drainage beneath your home can lead to long term damage in the form of:

    • Damaged foundation integrity.
    • Encouraging pests
    • Supporting toxic moulds
    • And structural rot.

If you have safe visibility beneath the house, have a look for signs of water tracking, leaving rutted flow paths or puddling.

We created a simple video here:

Have a read on page 5 in this document for more information:

Contact us about our comprehensive moisture testing report before you buy:

Example of Water Pooling Near House Foundations

  • Check the house exterior:

Another easy check is to ensure that there is a protective material separating the base of the house and anything that may be up against the house, such as soil or dirt. If unprotected, this is a haven for rot.


  • Check for Borer:

There are up to 7 species of wood-boring insects in New Zealand that might attack the timbers of your home or other buildings.

Open home tip: Look out for small, clean holes in exposed timber or crumbling wood around corners or edges of floorboards.

if you find evidence of borer in your home or commercial building, it is likely that the infestation is bigger than it appears. If signs are detected it is not only important to have a specialist assess and treat the issue, but some invasive investigation may be required to assess any possible structural damage. Again, this can be easily solvable with the right diagnosis and specialists.

find out more here:

Example of Wood With Borer Wholes

Good luck on your house hunting journey. Contact hppi; Your trusted inspectors, if you’ve narrowed down your search to a favourite house. Our proprietary inspection app helps us save time so we can charge you less.