You spend a lot of time and effort searching for the perfect property to buy. When you find the right one, it can be very exciting and you can even fall in love! Buying a property can be a very emotional decision, so it is important to get professional advice to ensure you remain sensible and objective. A building inspection report is therefore a very important part of the decision making process when it comes to purchasing a home or investment property.
Why do I need a building inspection?
Paying for a fully comprehensive building inspection report is a great way to ensure you are buying the best property for your budget and not purchasing a property that will require endless repairs and expense. It should provide you with an evaluation of the current condition of the property, all of its components and the items that are installed in the house.
There are three good reasons why you should get a building inspection report before you purchase any property:
1. To know in advance if there are any problems with the property, so you are able to budget for repairing them.
2. So you can use this information to negotiate a lower price for the property.
3. To find out if there are any major structural problems that may put you off purchasing the property entirely – like a roof that needs replacing, for example.
Getting a building inspection report is also a great way to stay sensible when you’re getting caught up in the excitement of purchasing a home. You’ll be able to enter into negotiations knowing the present condition of the structure of the house including the foundations, subfloor, roof void and external roof – things that might be expensive to repair.
A building inspection will also review other elements of the property including visual inspections of structures such as sheds and pergolas, interior plumbing, electrical and air conditioning systems. If you want to be really sensible, you may also request that the building inspection include a condition report on things like windows and doors, flooring, ceilings and walls and other temporary fittings.
When should I get one?
Ideally, a building inspection should be performed before you sign a Contract of Sale, or prior to auction if that is going to be the method of sale. In other kinds of sales, it is standard practice to insert a clause into the Contract of Sale stating that the purchase is subject to building and pest inspection reports.
That way you have the option of asking the vendor to address the problems and pay for repairs prior to the purchase being completed, or renegotiate the price of the property to allow for the repairs that must be performed.
It’s important to remember that a proper building inspection report must be performed by a professional – a licensed builder, surveyor or architect. You can source these professionals through businesses who specialise in providing building inspection reports for homebuyers, or ask us and we may be able to help you with a referral. Whoever you use should provide you with a report that complies with the Australian Standard (A4349.1).
What should I expect from the report?
When a building inspector comes across a problem that may be an important defect or even a structural problem, they will recommend you seek further advice from a professional specialising in that area before proceeding with the sale. Usually, they will not provide you with a quote on the repairs.
The building inspection cannot cover everything and so it may also be a good idea to get a pest inspection as well. Problems like termites often cannot be detected by the naked eye, so this is particularly important in areas where termite activity is high.
You should also remember that a building inspection is not a method of preventing future problems occurring with your home. It is inevitable that you will have to budget for maintenance and repairs as a normal part of home ownership. A building inspection will only give you a report on the current condition of the property so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to buy it.