Pre-purchase inspections

Pre-purchase inspections
Pre-purchase inspections

Pre-purchase inspections

In even the most perfect property, you'll find little details you'd like to fix or change when you move in.

In most homes, the flaws may be minor but before you buy, it’s wise to have the building inspected for major maintenance problems, structural faults and pest infestations. 

Building and pest inspection reports typically cost a few hundred dollars each up front but may alert you to problems that could cost thousands to repair in the long run. 

If the property you want is up for auction, any reports will have to be done before the auction. 

If you're buying privately, you could make your offer conditional on obtaining inspection reports on terms satisfactory to you, so the inspections can be done between acceptance of your offer and exchange of the sale contract or during any cooling off period. 

You might be able to use the information you gain from a building or pest inspection to negotiate a better price for the property or have the vendor rectify a problem so you don’t have to deal with it after you’ve purchased. In any case, it’s better to be forewarned of potential issues than to get a nasty surprise after you’ve moved in.

INSPECT IT YOURSELF

Before professional assessment, inspect the property yourself.

Even without professional training, you may be able to spot areas of concern. When you visit a property, consider whether it looks well-maintained. Look for warning signs that warrant further investigation such as cracked roof tiles, rusty gutters, damp patches on walls and ceilings, and cracks in the brickwork.

Sometimes owners will try to cover up problem areas by painting or wallpapering over them, or using quick fixes that won’t last in the long run. These may be difficult for the untrained eye to pick. A qualified building inspector will be better able to spot any deficiencies in the property.

PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT

Ask around for recommendations of a licensed builder, surveyor or architect to conduct the inspections. Otherwise you could find contact details through the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, Master Builders Association, the Australian Institute of Architects, or a similar professional body. The report the inspector provides should comply with the Australian Standard for building inspections (AS 4349.1) and the inspector should have adequate professional indemnity insurance coverage. 

The inspector should look for structural faults and damage to all accessible areas of the building as well as sheds, pergolas, fences and swimming pools.

Pest inspections may identify old or active termite damage, and evidence of other vermin such as mice or rats. 

Quick tip: An inspector may not be able to access all areas of the property so they may not uncover all of a property’s flaws but they should be able to identify major defects.

 

TO FIND OUT HOW RAMS CAN HELP EASE YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS, GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LOCAL RAMS HOME LOAN EXPERT OR DROP IN FOR YOUR FREE FIRST HOME BUYERS’ GUIDE.

For more great property advice and tips on buying your first home from RAMS subscribe to The Great Australian Dream property series.

For your free Property Observer eBook from RAMS, 12 tips for first-time buyerscovering everything you need to know when it comes to purchasing property, click here.

Disclaimer: Information in this material is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. You should also obtain independent professional advice relevant to your financial circumstances.

 

 
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Property market Housing Investment

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