Commissioning a building and pest inspection during the home buying process is a step in the right direction. For a one-off fee, you can uncover structural, plumbing, drainage, termite, and roof damage in a property and decide whether to pursue or terminate the purchase of a house.
No matter how appealing a house seems to be, it may be hiding issues that you don’t want to take on. Major structural issues and severe termite infestations are two that can be very risky as well as too costly to fix. However, if the building and pest inspection reports only minor problems, you can use the findings as leverage on the sales negotiation table.
Building and Pest Inspection Coverage
Cracks in walls, dampness, rust, leak stains, mould growth—these are only a few of the things building and pest inspectors will look for in a property. They’ll also check if the fixtures included in the sale contract are functional. As for the exterior areas, they will inspect outdoor structures (if they’re legal and have council approval) and see if there are any roof, fire, and tree hazards.
To sum it all up, property inspectors will assess these key areas:
- Fungal decay
- Maintenance issues
- Moisture levels
- Structural defects
- Termite presence
If you’re wondering, yes, building and pest inspection reports will try to uncover traces of previous pest infestations. The report will tell you what has been damaged by the said pest infestation and how it was sorted out. For sure, you would be uncomfortable moving into a house that has dealt with a severe termite infestation that hasn’t been extensively treated by the property owner.
Even if you don’t suspect that the house you’re buying is harbouring unwanted freeloaders (e.g. termites), there is a good chance that it does. While these tiny terrors may be deemed insignificant by some home buyers, the damage they’re capable of doing isn’t something to take lightly. In fact, termites are notorious for seriously undermining the structural integrity of a house and finding them after you’ve just purchased the property can be an absolute financial nightmare. That is why a comprehensive building inspection should come with a pest inspection as well.
To discover the presence of these unsavoury insects, building and pest inspectors will check the garden, nearby trees, retaining walls, and parts of the home itself. They will observe and take note of any evidence of previous or current pest infestation. Although some pests can be exterminated easily, especially those that just found their way on a newly built structure, such details are something any serious home buyer would want to be made aware of. In the case of older homes, the pest inspection report may find pertinent structural concerns and may often be deemed serious given the ageing state of the property.
What to Expect from Building and Pest Inspection Reports
Whether you got a tick-the-box style of a report or an extensive 25-page document, this property assessment is carried out for the sole purpose of exposing past, present, and potential issues a prospective home may have. It’s worth noting that an Australian Standard states what is to be included in this crucial report but the inspector you commission as well as the amount you paid will often determine the level of details the final report will have.
Besides the report coverage, the Australian Standard requires that every defect detailed in the final report be located, identified and categorised under the appropriate type of fault—distortion, damage, water/damp -related, deterioration, etc. The building and pest inspection report also has to show an indicator or classification of each issue in terms of significance or magnitude of its defect. While it is these technical classifications that makes it daunting to interpret the report, a good inspector will walk you through the findings.
Although you’d want to get a house with a clean slate, it pays to remember that most homes for sale will have minor issues hiding in it somewhere. Once a building inspector uncovers these issues, try not to get too caught up with them since that’s a commonplace, especially for houses that have been around for a long time. Keep in mind that building and pest inspections are not market appraisals. This means that the inspector can’t advise you on whether you should purchase a house or not but he or she will assist you in interpreting the key issues cited on the property report.
When you need help with assessing what the building inspection report has found, it may be best to talk with a conveyancer, a trusted family member, or peers with experience dealing with such documents.
Maximising a Building and Pest Inspection
For the property assessment to serve your purpose, it’s best to give the inspectors ample time to do their job. The on-site inspection takes anywhere from an hour to a few hours, depending on the size of the house and type of construction. Meanwhile, the subsequent report takes hours after the inspection.
Once the report finds its way into your inbox, take note of both significant and minor issues. Assess whether the former is a deal breaker and if the latter can give you more leverage to negotiate for a lower price. If the property only has minor faults listed, take into consideration the cost, time, and resources needed to fix them and gauge whether it’s worthwhile moving ahead with the purchase. Also attending the property after you get your reports can be a good way to understand if the issues raised are enough of a concern to re negotiate or pull out of the contract.
Building and Pest Inspection Reports Boost Buyers Confidence
Thorough knowledge of the house you’re about to buy gets you an idea of what you’d be dealing with should you proceed with the property purchase. However, it isn’t just an informed buying decision that you gain from a building and pest inspection. With it being done by a licensed expert, the report can be used as proof to back you up when you demand to have repairs done or negotiate for a fair sale price.
To get a comprehensive property assessment, leave the report in the hands of an experienced team of inspectors. Speaking of which, call us and we’ll help you sift through the houses that are up on the market with the ultimate goal of assisting you in finding the best ones to invest in.