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Pre-purchase building inspections - guidelines for structural & pest inspections - established home

A home is not just what it appears to be on the surface. It consists of many complex components including structural framing, physical components electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems. When considering a home for purchase, it is essential to have an understanding of existing defects or conditions that my result in structural defects in the future

This is why an extensive pre-purchase building inspection report is both valuable and necessary.

Q & A

Q. What is a Home Inspection? A. A pre-purchase building inspection, performed by a qualified building inspector, is a visual examination of all areas of a building to provide an accurate assessment of the building’s condition at the inspection. Home inspections are designed to disclose major and minor defects in the property that could materially affect its safety or resale value. The evaluation is presented to the buyer in a comprehensive report so buyers are fully informed of the building’s condition prior to purchase.

Q. How do I select a building inspector? A. Buying the right home is an important decision for your future. To select the right building inspector, you should base your decision on the experience of the building inspector. A qualified building inspector possesses a working knowledge of residential structures and systems, a general knowledge of real estate, and a strong affiliation with ethical and professional organisations such as Engineers Australia or Master Builders.

Q. How much does a building inspection cost? A. A basic buiding inspection can cost between $350 and $550, depending on the property location, the size of the building, the year of construction and the scope of the inspection and reporting.

Q. How quickly should I obtain a building inspection report? A. It is important to complete your home inspection as quickly as possible. It usually takes place seven to 14 days after the offer is accepted. You should have already identified a building inspector before this time so that things can move as quickly as possible.

Q. Should I attend during the building inspection? A. Yes. This building inspection will provide you with greater insight on the condition of the home. It is an opportunity to ask as many questions as possible as this will allow you to be fully informed about the home and feel confident about your decisions. Also be sure that your building inspection report will include a detailed written report as well.

Q. How long does a building inspection take? A. It depends upon the size of the building and the number of rooms. An average inspection takes about 1 to 2 hours. The time is well-spent considering there are more aspects that need to be assessed.

Q. What happens if there are some significant concerns with the building? A. First find out how much it will cost to rectify the defects. Weigh the positives against the negatives. If you have time, you could get some repair estimates from licensed builders. Then, you have some options to assist with your decision. I is possible to negotiate with the seller and they pay for and complete the specific repairs according to the estimates. Some defects, such as structural problems and termite damage are usually the seller's responsibility. You may also offer to fix the defects yourself in exchange for a lower purchase price on the contract. Finally, you can offer to share in the cost of repairs with the seller. Just remember that every deal is different and negotiable, and much depends on the current market conditions.

Q. What should my professional building inspection include?

A. The following areas shall be inspected where applicable:

· The interior of the building;

· The roof space;

· The exterior of the building;

· The sub-floor space;

· The roof exterior;

· The property within 30m of the building subject to inspection (garden sheds, retaining walls more than 700mm high, fencing, paths, driveways, carports, detached laundry and ablutions facilities where applicable).

After your pre purchase structural building and pest inspection is completed in Perth (and throughout WA) the buyer is entitled to a pre-settlement inspection. This typically occurs within 5 business days of when you take formal possession of the home. This final inspection allows you, the buyer, to inspect the property during to ensure that the condition of the property is very much the same as when the property was originally inspected prior to the offer being made.

During the pre-settlement inspection it may be found that appliances are not working. If a fixed appliance such as a heater, air-conditioning, range hood or similar isn’t working at the inspection, it is best to discuss with the agent to request it get fixed.

As a final note, ensure that before engaging a building inspector for your pre-purchase building inspection that you have reviewed the inspection agreement. This document is usually supplied with the quote and before the building inspector conducts the pre purchase structural building inspection and it should state very clearly the purpose, scope, acceptance criteria and a clear list of any exclusions which will not be included in the inspection and/or report.

If you have any questions about your upcoming pre purchase structural building and pest inspection in Perth, get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and to obtain a free quote (blog image courtesy of Kiplinger)

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Rotaru Building Consultants

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call us: +61 432 043 518

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