There is rarely a bigger or more emotional financial decision that you will ever make, than buying property, especially your first home. It often comes after years of saving and months of searching until you finally find that perfect home you have been looking for!
At such an exciting time of your life, it is often easy to cut as many corners as you can to get into your home as soon as possible, or to cut out costs which may seem unnecessary. A pre-purchase building inspection should not be one of those things! See below for why a building inspection is an essential part of your purchasing process.
1. Checking for any structural issues
As you walk through the home in the inspection you can identify many things that may require work; adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls, replacing window furnishings, updating the kitchen etc., but how do you know that the home is structurally sound?
A building inspector checks for any structural weaknesses or areas of concern, which can end up being quite costly and may require major construction to repair. Buildings must also conform to the Building Codes and Standards of Australia. If you purchase a home that does not conform to these standards, you will be responsible for the cost of bringing the building up to code.
So, while it may put you slightly out of pocket, it can end up saving you financial and emotional stress in the future.
2. Identifying any unsafe parts of the home
When buying a home for your family, you want to ensure that the house is safe in all aspects, and ready to live in.
A building inspection can identify any parts of the house which may be deemed unsafe, including and structural damage, cracks in walls or the presence of asbestos or other hazardous materials. They also check the operation of smoke alarms and appliances such as ovens, heaters and hot water units, as well as the condition of the existing electrical caballing,
This will give you the option of not going ahead with the sale if you are not prepared to cover the costs for any required repairs, or give you room to negotiate the purchase price of the property to take into account the findings.
3. Checking any “add-on” structures
While sheds and patios are often a value add feature, and can be a selling point for a property, these items aren’t always structurally sound and council approved.
A building inspector will inspect any sundry structures on the property and ensure they are council approved. If they do not conform to council regulations and you purchase the property, you may need to tear down or renovate the structures, at your own cost
4. Allowing you to budget for repairs
Sometimes, homes requiring some repairs can be purchased at a discounted price. While you may have intended to purchase a “fixer-upper”, there can be many hidden costs involved that you weren’t aware of.
A building inspection will outline all the work that needs to be done, and from there you are able to source professional quotes to give you an estimate of the true costs involved in bring the home up to where you’d like it to be.
When it comes to renovating, building inspections are a definite cost saver!
While opting out of a pre-purchase building inspection can be tempting in saving you time and a few hundred dollars, the peace of mind, and money it could save you in the future are much more enticing.