Some of the essential items covered by a pre-purchase house inspection include:
· Site Elements
These are the elements in the immediate vicinity of the house, e.g. fences, surface drainage, retaining walls, driveways, garage, carport, shed, surrounding trees.
· House Exterior Elements
The inspector will pay particular attention here to any signs of movement and cracking on the house exterior. Elements would include roof, gutters, flashings, valleys, eaves, downpipes, brickwork, weatherboards, paintwork, weepholes and vents, sills, balcony/verandah.
· Underfloor Space
Often there is restricted access to the underfloor space, due to height limitations and services such as ducted heating. The inspector is looking particularly at the condition of the sub-floor structure, footings, stumps, piers, ant caps, the level of ventilation, any obvious dampness, and rubbish that might be inviting termites.
· Internal Structural Elements
The interior inspection is extensive and covers ceilings, doors, walls, windows, skirting boards, architraves, fireplace, staircases, and tiling in each of the rooms.
· Wet Areas
Water leaks can cause all manner of problems so careful scrutiny of seals and fittings is essential. Specific focus is given to elements in the kitchen, bathrooms, toilets and laundry.
The inspector will review the electrical aspects - such as circuit breakers and safety switches, smoke detectors, hot water service and water pressure. No plugs or cables are removed from appliances, computers or AV equipment during the inspection process.
· Roof Space
The roof space can reveal if there are any structural or framing issues, missing or broken roof tiles, and the general condition of the insulation and exhaust flues.
If you feel out of your depth after reading this list, then you definitely need the help of professionals.
Auctions - Where Do You Stand?
An auction contract is unconditional so there is no opportunity for a building inspection once the hammer goes down. You need to get a report before the auction. That makes it hard when you don’t know how the auction is going to turn out. Do you spend the money on an inspection report when you have no guarantee that you will win at auction?
It all comes down to risk. How much do you want that house? And how much are you willing to pay for peace of mind? Winning a house at auction is exhilarating - but winning a lemon is not. It is better to feel relieved at the end of the day, than to sit with nagging doubts and uncertainty.
So Are You Ready To Commit?
Perhaps you’ve been looking for months and you just want to do the deal. You’ve been to your last Open Home! Maybe this is your very first house and you crave that satisfying feeling of ownership. Whatever your situation, buying a house needs a careful approach. Take your time. A building inspection is a simple and essential step that you shouldn’t overlook. You want to be ready when you sign that contract!
Speak to Colin and Helen Legg at SPI Property Inspections for more information on Building and Pest inspections in Victoria.
P: 1300 721 032 or www.spipropertyinspections.com.au