It’d be foolhardy for a real estate buyer like yourself to jump into an investment with little to no due diligence done. This almost guarantees a nasty case of buyer’s remorse later. And when it comes to buying a house, nothing can give you peace of mind better than the knowledge that the house you’ve bought won’t collapse on you, your kin, and your valuables any time soon. This is the very reason why you have to allot an ample amount of time to take a closer look at the house you wish to buy. Sadly, just an ocular inspection from your end won’t suffice.
To protect you from paying for fault-ridden properties, you’ll need to commission a building and pest inspection. The report you get from this assessment can reveal hidden problems that can potentially drain your financial resources down the line.
What Does a Building and Pest Inspector Check?
The scope of a building inspector’s job basically covers all accessible parts of the property, including exterior structures and interior features. That means they’ll inspect the roof exterior, underfloor space (if accessible), roof space, and the actual site for major water penetration, significant structural movement, and noticeable deterioration in building elements.
Besides these potential deal breakers, the inspector will also assess the property’s susceptibility to pest infestation. If it happens that the house is located in an area where termites and certain pests have been known to reside, he or she may conduct a termite and general pest inspection (or recommend that you have one done).
Because of the time needed to get this report done thoroughly, it’s best to get building and pest inspection done prior to you settling with an offer. Although many will get it commissioned during the cooling-off period of the contract, it can be difficult to leverage the inspector’s findings to negotiate for a lower price at that stage.
Common Structural Defects Observed During Building Inspections
A building inspector will check inside the roof, crawl under the floor, and check the site drainage, retaining walls, and grounds (or every accessible area on the property) in search of hidden faults. Some that they’ll take note of in the property assessment report includes:
- Drainage issues
- Water penetration
- Mould and dampness
- Fungal decay
- Maintenance cover-ups
- Substantial deterioration on the floors, walls, foundations, roof, etc.
- Structural movement
- Past or current pest infestation
Signs of Termite Infestation
Aside from a building inspection, seasoned inspectors may perform a pest inspection. And the one pest you wish they wouldn’t find will be termites. These timber-eating insects will literally chew through floors and door frames, leaving ugly piles of sawdust and a massive repair bill behind. The timber pest inspector will take note of any termite activity and assess the damage done so far by the bugs. They’ll also include in the final report whether there is an ongoing infestation and recommend immediate remedy as well as include a cost estimate for appropriate treatments.
Major Deal Breakers
An independent and unbiased building and timber pest inspection can provide you with a factual report that helps you make a sensible investment decision moving forward. With the inspector looking for structural issues, potential hazards, and building code violations, you can get a good idea of the problems hounding the estate and whether they’re worth the risk.
A house that suffers mostly cosmetic damage may be something buyers deem acceptable but one that has sustained some form of water damage may not be. After all, signs of mould or oddly placed water stains are indicators of heavy water damage to the building’s interior. Poorly designed electrical wiring, unstable balustrade, or rust in steel frames are other faults that should be taken seriously by any home buyers. These types of problems can compromise structural integrity and make the building quite dangerous to its occupants.
Similarly, any indication of timber pest activity can be subject to a clause set in the offer & acceptance. This is especially the case if you’ve included the building inspection as a special condition in the document. Should you proceed with the purchase and the special condition requires the seller to pay for timber pest damage and treatment, you can immediately write to the seller or broker an outline of the expected remedies. But if the special condition gives you permission to terminate the contract, you will have to give a written notice of termination to the seller or the real estate agent.
As you receive the building inspection report, take note that building inspectors won’t use the document to tell clients outright not to buy a particular property. Whether he or she proceeds with the purchase is something that will be left to his or her best judgement. The building and pest inspection report will just be there to present the objective facts.
In the end, remember that houses (especially old, pre-existing ones) will hide a variety of problems. A property inspection will help you see if the estate is truly worth investing by listing down the problems you could possibly face down the track if you do decide to sign the sale contract.
Having a thorough pre-purchase building & timber pest inspection done prior to buying a house is guaranteed to save you thousands down the line. This property assessment is your best protection against pouring a substantial amount into subpar investments. Call us today if you don’t want to recklessly gamble with your financial future in the middle of your real estate acquisition.