If you are on the market for a new home or investment property, it’s wise to get a pre-purchase building and pest inspection conducted before you sign on the dotted line.
Building and pest inspections can work as a safety net for home buyers, just like having your mechanic look over your next vehicle purchase before you hand over the money. It will prevent you from buying a complete dud.
A professionally done inspection report also works as a negotiation tool for both the vendor and the buyer. It will provide an overview of the property’s general condition and discover any minor or major defects. It’s a small investment that can save you thousands of dollars in future costly repairs. Here’s what you need to know:
What’s covered in an inspection?
Even though each state has slightly different guidelines on what needs to be included in a pre-purchase building inspection, generally the inspector will check the interior and exterior of the property including accessible roof cavities, roof void and sub-floor areas. Below is a breakdown of what most inspections provide:
- The exterior of the building
- Roof space
- Under-floor space
- Roof exterior (subject to health and safety regulations)
- Garage, carport and garden shed
- Separate laundry or toilet
- Small retaining walls (ie. non-structural)
- Steps, fencing, paths and driveways
It’s worth knowing that the inspector cannot assess things in a property that are not readily accessible or are obstructed during the inspection.
It’s recommended you are present during the inspection so your inspector can talk you through their findings and show you any points of concern. If you are concerned with things that are not covered in your inspection, you can always ask for a special-purpose inspection.
What can an inspection uncover?
What you really want to know about the property you intend to buy is whether there are any structural issues. Structural issues can pose a real risk as they can cause collapse and will most likely need costly repairs, some including major construction work. The inspections can also identify cracks and other structural problems that can worsen over time and eventually make the house unlivable.
If you do decide to purchase a home with structural defects, and that no longer conform to Building Codes and Standards of Australia, you will be responsible for the cost of bringing the building up to code.
With a pre-purchase building and pest inspection, you will find out exactly what needs to be done to bring the building up to where you’d like it to be. Armed with the knowledge from the inspection, you’ll able to ask for quotes from the relevant builders and tradespeople and work out a feasible budget for your home repairs.
Drainage & Plumbing Issues
Drainage and plumbing issues can be costly to repair and can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage if not detected in time. One of the most common damages caused by drainage and plumbing issues are increased moisture levels, which can help to bring on an insect or pest infestation. This can in turn cause a whole range of damages and require costly pest extermination and removal.
Termites & Other Pests
A pre-purchase building & pest inspection report will reveal if the property you’re intending to buy is conducive to a termite infestation. If so, it’s important to get a thorough termite treatment done as soon as possible to prevent the damage and loss that could be caused by future infestations. The report will also alert you to any existing termite damage in the property.
Is there ever a time you don’t need an inspection?
In short, the answer is No! The only time you would not need to check the condition of a property is if you are undertaking a knockdown rebuild project. However, there is still merit in conducting a pest inspection as traces of termites can be detected and treated before constructing the new dwelling.
So, is it worth it?
If you want to know what you’re buying and avoid ay nasty surprises down the track, then booking a building and pest inspection is definitely worth it. For a few hundred dollars you will get peace of mind knowing exactly what your are buying.
Whether buying your dream home or looking to acquire a home to rent out or turn over for profit, building and pest inspections are a sound move and the key is to use a reputable, licenced inspector.