Why do WA Home Buyers & Investors need a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection?

Purchasing a new home or property is one of life’s major decisions. Rarely can you get a good understanding of what is happening within a property during one or two visits at home opens or private viewings. It can be very beneficial when you buy your new property to obtain an independent building inspection from a WA Registered Builder with at least 20 years construction experience.

There is the potential to have a pre-purchase building inspection conducted on the property you want to purchase prior to making an offer to purchase or bidding at an auction. However, this is often discouraged by sellers and their agents. The majority of building inspections in WA are usually integrated as a purchase condition into the Offer to Purchase Contract.

Under these contract pre conditions, the buyer can make their offer subject to certain conditions which must be satisfied prior to the contract becoming unconditional. Common conditions include subject to “finance”, “pest (termite) inspections” and or “building inspections”. What becomes absolutely key is the wording of the pre-purchase building condition clause and how that clause operates.

In relation to WA building inspections the Real Estate Institute of WA provides associated Real Estate Agents with recommended wording for a building inspection clause. This clause has some very positive attributes but there are also some limitations. The key issue is that the clause can generally only be invoked if a structural defect is identified in the building. Buyers can be disappointed when they realise how narrow the definition of structural defect is and how many significant issues in a property will fall outside this definition.

At Houspect WA we believe it is important that a full building inspection is undertaken in an attempt to identify not only structural defects, but also non-structural defects, key non-compliance issues, significant maintenance items and important safety omissions where they exist. In broadening the scope of the building inspections two important issues emerge. Firstly, we believe it is important that buyers utilise the skills of their building inspector to inspect the entire property and record all of the issues within scope that they can identify. Secondly, it is important that the report clearly differentiates between structural defects, which would enable the buyer to invoke their building inspection clause; and any non-structural defects which are still important to the buyer but will generally not enable the buyer to invoke the building inspection clause. Where appropriate, buyers should seek independent legal advice.

What are the benefits of a Pre-Purchase Inspection?

Completed in accordance with Australian Standard 4349, a Houspect Building Inspection is a visual inspection of all the building components; it describes existing conditions and identifies likely structural defects, significant non-structural defects and major maintenance requirements that may fall due in the first 12 months. Understanding the condition of the property and the required remedial work or maintenance needs will enable the buyer to progress with their property purchase with greater understanding of the property ownership journey ahead.

If you have any queries or particular concerns about the property under consideration, simply let us know and we can instruct the building inspector to address these issues specifically during your inspection.

What’s covered in the Pre-Purchase Inspection?

Our Pre-Purchase Building Inspection covers the visual inspection of the property’s condition and status in the following areas, subject to reasonable access:

  • Roof cover and roof plumbing (viewed from a 6 ft. ladder)
  • Roof frame
  • Ceilings, walls, internal and external including facades
  • Under floor areas (where access is available) and above-ground footings
  • Doors and frames, internal and external
  • Windows and frames, internal and external
  • Wet areas and cabinets
  • Fences and retaining walls
  • Patios, verandahs, balconies and stairs
  • Paving, driveway and pool surrounds


  • Plumbing and Electrical overview
  • Repairs and maintenance issues which are likely to become due over the coming 12 months
  • General building defects
  • Safety omissions

About your Houspect Building Inspector

In WA, building inspections and building inspectors are unregulated. As a consequence it is important that you have total confidence in the quality, skills, experience and professionalism of your building inspector. At Houspect WA:

  • Every one of our building inspectors is a WA Registered Builder in their own right. Their Builders Registration number is recorded in every report.
  • Every building inspector has a minimum of 20 years direct construction industry experience.
  • Our building inspectors are fully insured with Professional Indemnity and Public Liability.
  • Every inspection report produced by Houspect WA is subject to a minimum of two levels of quality assurance review prior to being released.
  • Our state wide clients and building inspectors are supported by a dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced customer service team based in our Balcatta operations centre.
  • All calls, enquiries or bookings are addressed promptly and professionally by our customer service team during our business hours of 8.30 am to 5.00 pm.
  • Our building inspectors are located across the entire Perth metropolitan area and in most major regional centres in WA.

Houspect WA or its Directors maintain a number of important professional memberships including:

  • Master Builders Association of WA
  • Housing Industry Association
  • Strata Community Association of WA
  • Australian Institute of Conveyances WA

During the 20 plus years of operating in WA, Houspect has conducted in excess of 50,000 quality building inspections.

Buy, build and invest with confidence with Houspect WA.

For more information or to book a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection, call Houspect on Ph: 9240 8855, email us at or complete our online enquiry form

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