Buying or selling a home is one of the most significant things you will ever do. It is important that, before you sign a contract of sale on a new home, you know the condition of the property. The last thing you need is to find out that the property requires extensive, costly repairs – especially post-sale.
That’s why, when you find the property that you love, the last thing you should do is rush the sale through without knowing what you are getting into. A pre-purchase building inspection is an inspection, with an accompanying report, which will provide you with information on the condition of the property. However, there are also potential losses associated with a pre-purchase inspection, if you don’t hire the right person for the job.
Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Considerations
Qualified Building Inspectors
As you are trusting your building inspector to provide you with a detailed and accurate report, you will want to hire someone with the right qualifications. For instance, the most qualified building inspectors are also registered builders, surveyors, or architects.
The more qualified the building inspector the better, as you are guaranteed to receive a thorough and accurate home inspection report. Qualifications may differ slightly from state to state, territory to territory, and so on. However, you can always check your building inspector’s qualification on the relevant Fair Trade website. For instance, the New South Wales Fair Trade website has extensive information on qualifications that building inspectors and other related trades persons must have, in order to work in the building industry.
If you are still unsure, there is also a “Contact Us” available on the website.
Building Inspection Insurance
Unless your building inspector (or the building inspection company you hire) is adequately insured, you could find yourself locked in a legal battle which could drag on for months. Worse still, you may never receive any compensation for the cost of repairs – not to mention the legal costs you will have accrued trying to resolve the issue.
Unfortunately, in Australia, many building inspectors are neither sufficiently qualified nor insured to carry out a pre-purchase inspection. Sadly, that means thousands of new homeowners are left out in the cold, spending money they can’t afford, just to bring properties up to safe and habitable standards.
You should ask any prospective building inspectors if their work is covered by professional indemnity insurance, before signing up for a home pre-purchase inspection. You cannot afford to take risks with unqualified, uninsured inspectors when dealing with a purchase as important as a new home.
Content of a Pre-Purchase Inspection Report
Australian home owners face a number of potential problems, when purchasing a new home. So, when hiring a building inspector, you will want to know that every aspect of the property is being inspected. Some building inspectors will place limits on the types of structures, fixtures, external buildings etc. included in your pre-purchase inspection report.
You can ask the building inspector for a list of content, which will detail exactly what the report covers. If important parts of the property are not included in the report, you may as well throw your money down the drain. A thorough, detailed report is absolutely essential, if you want to avoid costly repairs further down the road.
The best building inspectors will look beyond load bearing structures and cosmetics, to produce a report which is a true reflection of the property’s condition. In some cases, the building inspector will have a stipulation that lack of access may limit the accuracy of the report. However, this stipulation is standard policy. In such cases, you should ask the building inspector about advanced technologies, such as drones, which will allow the inspector to see assess areas of the property which are otherwise inaccessible.