Building and Pest Inspection – Do it Right

A crucial component of the purchasing process is the building and pest inspection.  Most contracts will provide the Purchaser with an opportunity to undertake a building and pest inspection to determine the structural soundness of the home they are buying.

Because this is such a crucial component in the buying process I always advise my clients to do the following:

  1. Choose your building inspector carefully.
  2. Be present when the inspection is being undertaken.
  3. Ask questions and give direction to your inspector.
  4. Choosing your building inspector. 

Make sure you engage a professional, competent and thorough building inspector.

Don’t choose your inspector on price and be very wary of accepting the recommendation of the real estate agent.  It is not in the agent’s interest after all for an inspection to reveal problems which may jeopardise the sale and their commission!

Do your research, ask for recommendations from family, friends and work colleagues who may have had cause to have used a building inspector themselves recently.

  1. Be present at the inspection.

It is important that you be present when the inspection is being undertaken so that the inspector can highlight to you any issues or problems that he discovers.  He can show you exactly what the problem is, where it is and what steps may need to be taken to repair the problem.

It will also give you an opportunity to acquaint yourself with the property again. Most buyers have only been through a property two or three times before putting a contract on it so this is an opportunity to inspect the property again without the rose coloured glasses and pick up on any warts you did not notice the first time around.

  1. Ask questions.

The first thing I would be asking my inspector prior to him carrying out the inspection is that I want him to

  • open and shut every window, cupboard, and door,
  • turn every tap on and off, flush every toilet, turn on every light,
  • check that spas, saunas, pools, pumps etc. are actually operational and in good working order
  • Make sure locks lock, door handles work and security (if any) is operational.

Why ?  Because even though the main purpose of a building inspection is to highlight any structural issues I believe it is important that buyers are not taken by surprise when they move into a property and nothing is more annoying, irritating and potentially costly than to find out (only once you have moved in) how weak the water pressure is when having a shower or that the toilet leaks when flushing, or that half the downlight bulbs have blown and need replacing or an electrical fault means the power keeps tripping.  Make sure your inspector is thorough and is prepared to undertake these tasks.

Final Tip

The fine print of most building inspection reports will state that the inspection excludes matters relating to electrical.  Prior to engaging your building inspector is to ask whether he also inspects the electrical.  If not, then you should engage an electrician to inspect the wiring, the suitability of the power box etc. to ensure that you have not got a potential fire danger lurking in your wiring.

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