Buying a home or investment property is typically one of the biggest investments most of us will ever make.
Yet it can go pear-shaped if you don’t do your research to discover whether there are any structural or pest issues that can potentially set you back a significant sum of money to fix and/or eradicate.
The good news is that this research won’t make a hole in your wallet, and can be delivered via pre-purchase building and pest inspections.
A pre-purchase building inspection by a licensed building inspector will reveal any potentially costly structural or safety issues within a property. It will also outline what needs to be done to return a home to a safe and comfortable standard – as well as the estimated cost for completing the repairs. Expect to pay between $250 and $450 for a pre-purchase building inspection.
Please note that with a strata scheme or company title properties, the building inspector will usually only assess the condition of the interior of the apartment or townhouse and its immediate exterior. If you want a more extensive inspection of common areas you will need to request a ‘special-purpose’ property report.
For a few hundred dollars, a pest inspection can identify whether pests such as termites have been dining out on the property’s structures – as well as the expense involved in eradicating this nuisance and fixing the damage.
In most states and territories, it’s the buyers who must foot the bill for building and pest inspections – although there’s always talk of making it mandatory for vendors to make them available. This could work well for auctions, where buyers often spend plenty on pest and building reports yet miss out when the hammer comes down in favour of another bidder.
That said, if you’re a vendor looking for a way to put your property in front of the competition for buyer attention, it might be worth commissioning your own pest and building reports – and it could help you detect any problems before the buyers arrive to inspect your property.