What Is a Building Inspection and Is It Worthwhile?

June 15, 2015

When you’ve found the ideal property in today’s competitive market, it’s natural to feel pressured into putting in an offer as quickly as possible without a final building inspection, but this can come at a cost later down the track.

It’s definitely worth your time to take this final step before you make such an important investment. Forgoing an inspection to save a bit of time and money can come back to haunt you in the future.

The basics of building inspections

A building inspection will cover a variety of areas, focusing on whether or not the property is structurally sound.

This inspection is ideally completed before you make an offer, but in a swiftly-moving market this may not always be practical.

If you don’t want to wait and risk missing out to another buyer, you can include a building inspection as a condition to your offer.

This condition should state who is going to pay for the report, and when it must be carried out. In most cases, the buyer will pay for the report.

Building inspections are conducted by registered builders or architects, who have the experience and knowledge necessary to identify structural defects.

The inspection report may be tailored to suit the property’s age.

Older properties may require a closer examination of structural faults, such as damaged foundations, while new properties would require an inspection of the property’s fittings and fixtures.

Why it matters

A pre-purchase building inspection is important because it alerts you to any issues before the sale is finalized. This gives you a chance to ask the seller to fix these problems as a condition of the sale, or budget for the cost of repairs and maintenance if you plan to fix it yourself.

This information may influence your final decision on whether or not to buy the property, and help give you the upper hand in negotiations.

Although an inspection usually costs between $300 and $600, the cost of repairs can run into the thousands.

After an inspection, you’ll know exactly what work needs to be completed and can budget for it, rather than being hit with a surprise bill in the future.

In addition to these financial issues, building inspections are important from a safety standpoint.

Structural weaknesses could lead to an eventual collapse, while faulty electrical wiring could increase your risk of a house fire or electrocution.

Inspections may also reveal unsafe areas of the property, such as cracks in the walls or the presence of asbestos or harmful mould.

There are many potential issues within a property that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Although it’s tempting to opt out of a building inspection in a bid to save a few hundred dollars, the cost could be well worth it.

Pre purchase building inspections ensure that your property is safe and that it adheres to all council and building regulations, saving you a great deal of money and stress in the long run.

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