There are many properties sold in Australia with defects that sellers are not aware of. Sometimes including major structural defects that can impact the health and safety of the buyers, their loved ones, or anyone else visiting the property. If there is a defect found in the property after the sale, it can cost a significant amount of money to adequately address the issue. That's why it's essential to have a pre-purchase inspection done on any property before you purchase it. This will help give you confidence in the property's safety and structural integrity before signing a contract agreeing to buy it.
Verify Before You Buy
Once you have signed a contract agreement to purchase a property and have handed over payment, it's too late to complain to the seller about any defects you find. You have no legal standing to make the seller pay to repair defects you discover on the property post-sale. It can often mean having to spend thousands of dollars on repairing issues that would have easily been found if you had a licensed, certified professional conduct a pre-purchase inspection. It ensures a seller does not take advantage of your eagerness to buy the property.
What Does A Building Inspection Involve?
A pre-purchase building inspection is designed to find any significant issues with the building's safety. This includes any problems that can devalue the property or make it unfit for habitation or commercial purposes. Building inspections are done by a licenced professional to identify any major safety issues and structural defects in accordance with Australian standards. Purchasing a residential or commercial property is a significant financial commitment. Having a pre-purchase building inspection done is a way to protect your investment and ensure no one is being sold a substandard commercial or residential building with major flaws.
What do Pre-Purchase Building Inspections Cover?
A pre-purchase building inspection covers the roof, the foundation and everything in between. Its goal is to find all hidden defects and ensure the building is in good condition. Structural issues, subsidence or anything else that can result in unexpected avoidable costs are sought out through a comprehensive inspection. A building inspection can include:
- Concrete slabs
- Roofs: frame and internal/external aspects
- Guttering and downpipes
- Walls: facades and internal/external areas
- Doors: Frames and internal/external parts
- Wet areas
- Retaining walls
- Patios, balconies and stairs
- Pools, pergolas and paving
- Fences and out-buildings
- Plumbing/electrical overview
Close attention is also paid to brick veneer, tiled roof covering and rendered board cladding. Pre-purchase building inspections are also conducted in coordination with pest (termite) inspections and any other concerns buyers may have about the property. The inspections are conducted by licensed professionals with years of experience, and a familiarity with the local properties.
How Long Does A Building Inspection Take?
As per Australian standards, the building inspection process requires paying close attention to all of the accessible areas of the building and yard to determine if there are structural defects or if there is a termite infestation. It usually takes up to two hours to do a thorough building and pest inspection. The inspector does a visual inspection of the property and also uses instrumentation to properly access the building's general condition. Once an inspection is completed, the inspector will issue a building inspection report.
Roof, Sub-Floor, Termite and Pest Inspection
If safe access can be gained, the building inspector will perform a full inspection on the roof. Building inspections also include taking a close look at the sub-floor as long as there is a hinged access door providing easy access. Termite and pest inspections can also be part of the building inspection report at the buyer's request and is recommended.
How Much Does A Building Inspection Cost?
Depending on where in Australia the property is located and how thorough the inspector is, pre-purchase building inspections cost from $400 to $3000. While every building and pest inspection cover the same items in the government's list of Australian Standard of Building Inspections, the price can vary. The property's location, the inspector's level of detail, and the structure's complexity can all impact the pre-purchase building inspection cost.
A Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Is Worth It
Pre-purchase building inspections are well worth the money. Hiring building inspection experts that are efficient, experienced and affordable can save buyers thousands of dollars when purchasing properties. A building inspection allows buyers to make informed decisions when buying a property. In turn, it can same home buyers thousands in the long term and steer towards helping them find good investment properties.
While it may be tempting to cut costs by foregoing a pre-purchase building inspection, that can be a costly mistake. Having a licenced professional do a pre-purchase building inspection not only includes fulfilling a legal requirement, but it also gives buyers peace of mind knowing the job was done correctly. They also enable people to make a better-informed buying decision and can help them discover any hidden damage.