BUILDING INSPECTIONS – PRE PURCHASE – MELBOURNE VICTORIA.
What is a pre purchase building inspection?
A pre purchase building inspection is an inspection of a building (such as a home, town house or apartment) that is organised by a prospective purchaser before they actually purchase a building or bid for a home, town house or apartment at an auction.
Why is it important to arrange pre purchase building inspections?
The main reason why it is so important to arrange pre purchase building inspections is avoid buying a property at a price you can afford only to find out that there are many costly defects and maintenance works that need to be rectified / completed – additional costs that most purchasers cannot afford. For example:
Repairing (underpinning) cracked external walls can cost up to $25,000.
Re stumping an old home and repairing the consequential damage to other parts of the building can cost up to $30,000.
Re-wiring a home can cost up to $15,000.
Repairing faulty sewerage and stormwater pipes can cost up to $12,000.
Stopping leaks inside double brick walls that are rendered can cost up to $7,000.
Removing old rusty gutters and downpipes and replacing them with new gutters and downpipes can cost up to $5,000 for a single storey home and up to $10,000 for a two storey home because expensive scaffolding is needed to provide safe access to the high sections of the building.
For many purchasers, they simply can’t afford the above mentioned additional surprise costs, particularly after they have already stretched themselves financialy to acquire their dream property.
Who should l engage to carry out a pre purchase building inspection?
Pre purchase building inspections should really only be carried out by experienced building inspectors or building consultants with at least 15 years experience inspecting and reporting on the condition of residential buildings. A experienced building inspector or building consultant should be able to provide advice on the following:
- The condition of the land around the building. A property inspection report should not only focus on the condition of the building, it should also focus on the land and structures around the building. For example, the structure of a home may be sound today but can undermined in the future if site drainage systems are blocked or failing. Small trees planted too close to a home may have no impact on the structure of the home today but are very likely to cause serious cracks in external walls as they increasingly suck moisture out of the ground below the footings of a house or from below concrete slabs. It is also important to know that boundary fences and retaining walls are safe and not likely to collapse and cause injury to young children or other people visiting the property.
- The condition of the building. It is here that the building report focuses on the condition of the roof, flashing, gutters, and downpipes, the condition of the external walls, internal walls, the alignment and functioning of all doors and windows the structure of the floor and the condition of the sub floor area (e.g. stumps, brick piers, bearers, floor joists and dampness etc.).
- The number of defects and their location. What needs to be done to rectify identified defects, the type of tradesperson who is typically engaged to rectify each defect and the estimated cost to rectify each defect.
- Specific areas of the the building that require maintenance. The type of maintenance works that need to be completed, the type of tradesperson who is typically engaged to carry out the necessary maintenance works, and the estimated cost to carry out the necessary maintenance works.
- Any dangerous aspects of the building. For example, unstable balcony platforms, unsafe barriers around balconies, cracked glass in windows or doors, exposed or dangerous electrical wiring and inadequate barriers / fencing / gates around swimming pools or spas.
Should the building inspector or building consultant l select be covered by professional indemnity insurance and liability insurance?
The building inspector or building consultant that you engage should always be covered by professional indemnity insurance and liability insurance.
When should l organise a pre purchase inspection?
If you are making an offer on a home that is for private sale, it is recommended that you only make the offer after you have received the building inspections report from the building inspector and taken in to consideration all costs associated with rectifying identified defects and carrying out recommended maintenance works.
If their is fierce competition for a house, unit or apartment that you are interested in, we recommend that you make an immediate offer on the property subject to the following conditions:
- Subject to obtaining finance from a financial institution at an interest rate that l am / we are satisfied with.
- Subject to a report on the property by Finalinspect that l am / we are satisfied with.
If you are going to make an offer for a property at an auction, it is recommended that you arrange for a building inspection to be completed and a detailed report to be prepared at least 3 days prior to the auction. It is important to give yourself enough time to peruse the building inspection report and ask the building inspector any further important questions before you attend the auction.
Should l accept a verbal report from a building inspector?
Some building inspectors offer very cheap building inspections provided they only have to give their customers a verbal report.
Our advice here is simple – Verbal reports are not worth the paper that they are not written on !
If you seek initial verbal advice from a building inspector (to make a quick decision) always ensure that your inspector follows up with a detailed typed report.
How long does it take to inspect a home and how soon can l expect to receive a building inspection report?
Generally speaking, an apartment, a townhouse or a house inspection should take at least one hour to complete. If the condition of the building is in very poor condition or the house is very large, more time is needed to inspect all areas and record all defects in the report and consequently, some inspections can take up to three or four hours.
For an average size home (3 or 4 bedrooms), the building inspections report should be able to be emailed to you within 1 – 2 days. Urgent reports can be requested verbally immediately after the inspection and a report should then follow.
If you would like to arrange for a home, townhouse or apartment to be thoroughly inspected and a detailed report to be prepared which provides an accurate assessment of the condition of the building, please contact Mr. Peter Limburg, Director at Finalinspect on 0408 132 152