Pest & Building Inspection

Pest & Building Inspection

Buying your first home can be a nerve-racking mix of high hopes and utter trepidation. It’s a huge investment and a significant milestone, so it’s a given that you’ll be experiencing a whole range of emotions. Among all the excitement, you may not realise how heavily the real estate system is stacked against you: there’s much more to it than saving for a deposit and hoping your offer gets accepted.

While it may feel like a fair and balanced process, everyone involved has a vested interest and is out to get their slice of the pie. That smiling real estate agent with the firm handshake and friendly banter? It’s easy to forget that they are trained in the psychology of sales and acting solely on the best interests of the vendor and themselves. Combine this with all the costs associated with stamp duty, vendor advocates, legal services and other fees, and you could end up paying far more than the true worth of the property.

Why you should never skip a building inspection

First home buyers often get swept away by the opportunity of owning their ‘dream home’ and end up signing on the dotted line without an inspection only to find out the roof has an unrepairable issue that’s invisible to the untrained eye. With an impartial report in your hand, you can make a sound decision that isn’t clouded by your emotions.

And you must take care to choose the right inspector. When it comes down to it, an experienced building inspector is the only party that’s truly impartial in the home buying process. An inspection gives you an honest appraisal of the property that cuts through the buttered-up sales pitch offered by an agent and provides you with an accurate and detailed summary of the structure’s condition and its present and future repair and maintenance costs.

More than 50% of new homes fail our inspections

Let that sink in. Inspections apply as much to brand new structures as they do to old ones, especially since many building contracts are awarded to the building team with the lowest bid. New homes are often failed due to structural faults, failure to comply with building codes and all manner of other issues, so don’t always be fooled by the dazzling packaging!

A building inspection comes with a fee, of course, but the report could give you the bargaining power you need to knock thousands off the asking price during negotiations. It may also be the only thing that protects you from making a dud investment and gives you the chance to turn away before it’s too late.

Booking a pre-purchase building inspection is a no-brainer and anyone would say that they want to choose a professional that they can trust. That said, you’re likely to encounter varying rates between providers after a quick Google search and a few phone calls, and it can be hard to know what the difference is between them all. While there can be a number of variables between inspectors, it can all be broken into four major concepts.

Quality of the report

Typically, cheaper building inspections include much less information so that the provider can reduce their overheads. These reports are often evasive, non-committal and potentially useless if they overlook key issues, which is why you should seek a provider that can produce a detailed report at a competitive price.

Time taken

A quality building inspector should offer a fast turnaround time on their report and even allow you to come along during the inspection. Spending less on an inspection often extends the time it will take to finalise the report after the property has been examined.

Negotiating power

An added advantage of a building inspection report is that it can allow you to negotiate the purchase price based on the estimated cost of any repairs that may be required. The more detail in the report, the more authority you’ll have during negotiations.

Long term costs

If you choose to sacrifice quality and go for the lowest bidder on a building inspection, there’s a chance the report may overlook current or potential problems with the structure. As a result, you could go through with a purchase on the impression that no work is required only to be faced with costly repairs down the track. Quality reports often pay for themselves by picking up any issues early on and giving you the information you need to look the other way or negotiate a new price.

Consider price matching

It’s still easy to be tempted by a lower price, especially when the level of service appears to be similar. The good news is that some providers — including Building Masters Inspections — will be able to beat the price offered by qualified competitor. If you are given a cheaper quote for an inspection that offers a similar level of service to our own, send it through along with a sample of their report and they will not hesitate to beat it.

If you take the time to do your research instead of jumping the gun and booking the lowest bidder, you’ll improve your chances of receiving a high quality report at a price that you can fit within your budget.

Like most things these days, when we need a professional service or product we turn first to the internet. As a near infinite depository of information, you’ll always have access to a comprehensive list of reliable businesses from which to choose from. However, how are you supposed to know when a business is reliable or not? Just because they have a flashy looking website, compelling content and appear on the first page of your search engine, doesn’t always guarantee the integrity and professionalism of their service.

When it comes to building inspectors, as this is an unregulated profession, you will find that many ‘inspectors’ are unregistered and incompetent. This undoubtedly makes choosing the right business challenging, but not impossible. If you’re having difficulties choosing from all the service providers available online, then there are a few things you can keep an eye out for to make sure your inspector isn’t dodgy.

They call it cheap and nasty for a reason

If you’re only basing your decision on which service is cheapest, then you might as well not get an inspection done at all. Most of the cheaper services are priced so low because they can’t get business any other way. An unaware and prospective home buyer enlists their services, pays them, and doesn’t realise the report they’ve been given is unreliable at best, until they discover the defects for themselves.

Don’t get suckered in by the appealing price tag, you’ll only end up paying for it later. A mid to high priced inspector may cost you more initially, but you’ll inevitably save considerably more when they help you to negotiate a lower asking price for your dream home.

Does your inspector of choice let you tag along?

Services such as Building Masters Inspections will let their clients join them on the day of the inspection to give them a first-hand account of any defects they find. Not only will this allow you to ask any questions you might have and make the most of their expertise, it’s also an indication that they’re serious about their work, and a seasoned professional.

Worst case scenario

Many home buyers have found themselves trapped living in a defective home paying for problems that their inspection report failed to identify. This happens when the inspector is either too inexperienced, lazy, or simply doesn’t know what they’re doing. Don’t become trapped by your dream home. Enlist the help of an expert.

 It’s understandable that when you’re purchasing a new property, you want to limit the expenses as much as possible. You’re already paying for costs such as stamp duty, legal fees, surveyors and other possible services and this amount is not even factoring in the deposit you’ve just paid for your home loan. It is because of this that many home owners forgo having a building inspection conducted prior to purchasing their property. This is the biggest mistake you could make however, as you’re much more likely to have to spend more in the short, medium and long run when potential defects force you to invest in costly repairs or renovations.

 Spending a little now, to save a lot later

 In comparison to some of the repairs needed to fix structural or irreversible damage to your new home, the cost of a competent building inspector pales in comparison. With many service providers offering competitive and very reasonable rates, you’ll be able to enlist the assistance of a professional with the years of experience necessary to offer a comprehensive inspection.

 Spending this comparably small sum in the beginning, could prove immeasurably beneficial should the inspector uncover serious defects such a termite infestation or hidden structural distortion. This forewarning then puts you in the favourable positon of being able to negotiate a lower asking price for the property, or force the current owners to cover the expenses of any repairs before you buy.

 The money you save can then be spent on turning your house into a home

 Many first home buyers and families only ever have enough savings to cover the deposit for their home loan and the first few repayments. Sometimes they might have a little extra to serve as a safety net should any unforeseen complications arise. This extra play money is instantly compromised however, should a property be purchased without having first booked a thorough inspection. Any plans to add an extra room, build a pergola, install new flooring, or landscape the backyard will be replaced by the expense of fixing faulty wiring, damaged or cracked foundations, leaks, or any number of other common home defects.

 The most important thing to remember is: don’t be reactionary towards defects, be proactive and identify them before you’re stuck paying for them.

Buying a new house is a daunting prospect at the best of times, especially if it’s your very first property. Many young couples for example, tend to feel that the entire home buying process is stacked against them – which it is. Every professional involved in the process, from lawyers to conveyancers, buyers to vendors and real estate agents, are all interested in one thing and one thing alone – making a profit. If they are successful in convincing you to purchase a property then they stand to make a commission and at the end of the day, this is their primary objective.

Building inspectors on the other hand, have no such biases and are purely concerned with doing the right thing by the potential home buyers. They are obliged to be forthright with their findings and completely transparent with any reports, meaning you get the truth and not some over inflated sales pitch. A building inspector still gets paid the same regardless of whether the property is sold or not, which means they stand to gain nothing by misleading a home buyer.

Don’t let the agent talk you out of a property inspection

It’s an unfortunate reality that many real estate agents convince home buyers to forgo a property inspection in an effort to score a higher offer. It is in their best interest to get as much money as possible for any given property, but their ability to do so is jeopardised if a building inspection reveals any defects.

Keep in mind that almost all new houses have defects due to young or inexperienced builders who are still learning as they work on any given property. A professional building inspector is likely to identify 15-20 defects on a new house, whilst older houses may have as many as 20-30. These issues can include issues with asbestos, poor wiring, inferior light fittings that are a fire hazard, termites, and mould, just to name a few.

Once a home owner becomes aware of such defects, and they have a more comprehensive idea of how much it will cost them to get them repaired, they are automatically in a better position to negotiate a more favourable price. This is something that the real estate agent would prefer to avoid.

Why you’ll never find a reliable building inspector without grey hair

Many young building inspectors are too scared to be completely honest in their inspection reports regarding certain defects for fear of being sued. This is why it’s important to choose the older, veteran inspectors who have the confidence and the experience to offer a comprehensive and brutally honest evaluation.   

 

 You know the problem.  It’s going to be your first home purchase –  an existing house.  You have settled on the basic features you want and the suburbs where you wish to settle.  After much research and attending many ‘Open House’ inspections and auctions, you are now starting to get a better idea of the real price range of houses being sold in the area – not what the real estate agents would like you to believe – and what you get for your money.  Having determined how much you can afford to pay for a mortgage; set an upper limit on price; and gained a pre-approval mortgage limit from your Bank or financier, you are now ready to get serious about buying a property.

After a few inspections, it is easy to become confused as to what features were in which houses.  Even if you started out keeping meticulous notes about each house you have visited, it is too easy to slacken off so recollections becomes increasingly blurry.  Houses today are increasingly becoming better presented and staged.  One can be easily misled by a fresh coat of paint, modern light fittings, and new carpets, colourful scatter cushions, prints and elegant accessories.  They are all designed to sell you on an image … of what you might create. The vendors all try to create an emotional tug to their property that can also blind prospective purchasers to the real condition and suitability of the property.

When you are about to take your first step on the property ladder you soon start to realise that you don’t know enough to recognize the true state of a property.  Get it wrong and you could be up for tens of thousands of dollars in remedial work.  No kidding! 

You might regard yourself as a bit of a handy-person – reasonably good with the hammer and saw.  But that does not equip you to tell if there could be dangerous asbestos fibres in the ceilings and walls; there are  drainage problems which could be affecting the foundations or causing dampness and rot ; whether the house may needs a complete rewiring – or even worse, there is evidence of termites or that an building extension or outbuilding does not comply with building regulations and may need to be demolished.  

If you are ‘time-poor’ – as most of us are these days, you simply should not run the risk of committing to buy a house without knowing whether it is fundamentally sound.

If you were considering buying a $30,000 used car, you would probably call in an expert – a mechanic or a motorist service organisation – to run their eye over the car before you committed.  So why, then, haven’t you brought in a retired builder with years of experience in home renovations to cast their eye over your short-list homes – where the average price might be 20 to 40 times greater than the $30,000 car?  No – it doesn’t make sense.

Do you know a good, retired builder who could provide you with objective feedback about a property or properties you are considering buying?   Someone who is available at short notice and not in any way tied up with the real estate agent or vendor?   Someone who can tell you what you need to know; clearly, succinctly and provide visual evidence of the problems they have identified.  That person should also be able to advise on the range of cost to make the repairs.

They are about but good ones are hard to find.  A good place to start (and finish) is Building Masters Inspections.

Building Masters Inspections is a group of proven, licensed builders who have retired from the demanding, stressful field of home renovations to channel their experience to help prospective house and commercial building buyers make sound purchases.  After years of successful and successive building renovations, they know the traps and recognize tell-tale signs.  They don’t need to pull a building apart or pore over plans.  A visual building inspection shows up most of the likely problems.  Looking at the switchboard tells them  much.  Fresh paint over a wall might be disguising rising damp.  The sound of a tap on the walls here and there tells them much. Termites?  They can quickly spot drainage and foundation problems – but can you?   Don’t let an a real estate agent tell you the squeaks in the floors are not a problem – your Building Masters Inspector is the one to trust.

Give Mike Heathcote a call on 1300 780 931.  Mike leads a small team of top building inspectors who are strategically located around Melbourne to promptly carry out building inspections prior to auction or sale.  His inspectors photograph all reported faults and welcome a face-to-face or phone discussion immediately following their building inspection.  You know will where you stand, the likely repair costs and be better equipped to confidently decide whether to proceed with the purchase, seek a lower price or walk away altogether.  More information about Building Masters Inspections can be obtain be obtained via their website www.buildingmastersinspections.com.au.

For all building and pest inspections of any property in the Melbourne Metropolitan area, Mornington Peninsula and Geelong, Building Masters Inspections are but a phone call away.  1300 780 931.

 

Busy people want relevant information at their finger-tips when making critical decisions – and they need it fast! Such is their need when purchasing a house.

Prospective home buyers are always under pressure. They never know whether the homes they are tracking are the best they will find that suit their needs. There’s always the prospect that their ideal home will be listed tomorrow. Much research has to be done in a short time. It is now that comprises start to be made and blind-spots appear.

One area where compromises are rarely entertained (unless you are a masochist) concerns taking chances about the underlying quality of your short-list homes. Most people quickly form a superficial view about the soundness of a house. Often, there is plenty that a layman sees but incorrectly interprets, dismisses or fails to appreciate the likely scale of the remedial cost. Warning signs abound for those with the skills to recognize them.

A pre-purchase house inspection should always be factored into the home purchase budget and pre-purchase timeline. A building inspection report can help steer you away from a ‘lemon’. Understand, however, that a building inspection report does not guarantee there are no hidden faults. The inspectors should identify most faults that do not involve the intrusion of internal panels or a complete inspection of all ceiling and under-floor voids.

What to look for in a Building Inspector

If a Building Inspector promises to cover the cost of fixing any defect they overlook, take a very close look at the fine print – or run a mile. No experienced building inspector would enter into such a commitment for the payment of a relatively low fee. You need to deal with a reputable group – licensed building inspectors; builders in their own right who have many years of experience buying, renovating and selling homes for a living.

You need a building inspector –

• who is good at their work and a good communicator
• who can quickly spot problem areas,
• who knows what it might cost to fix them, and
• how to fix them without paying through the nose. .

Above all, they must be ready to inspect your proposed house purchase at short notice.

Getting the most from you Building Inspection by Building Masters Inspections

One group of Victorian building inspection practitioners that meets all of the above qualifying criteria is Building Masters Inspections. These are top people in the building inspection field: people who can steer you from problem homes, independent and professional – without any vested interest in the assessments they provide.

Building Masters Inspections can usually undertake an inspection within a day or so of your call, subject to vendor agreement to the day and timing. They email their written reports with photos to you within 24 hours of their inspection – often on the same day.

To get greatest value from a Building Masters inspection, try to personally attend the inspection. Not only can the inspector point out the problem areas but it provides a golden opportunity for a question/answer review session – either onsite or nearby.

Book Pre-Purchase Building Inspections of houses on your short, ‘Short List’

If you are thinking of buying a property, book a pre-purchase building inspection though Building Masters Inspections. Phone to Building Masters Inspections on 1300 780 931 – NOW.

You will probably speak to Mike Heathcote – their senior inspector and coordinator. Mike is a top professional in this field. He can help you to decide on the scope of their building inspection, and will discuss cost and payment details. Building Masters Inspection inspect properties anywhere in Greater Melbourne including the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas and major provincial cities.

 

 

The purpose of a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection is simple, to identify and report on:

• Any major structural and other problems with the property,
• The risks to the buyer if the proposed purchase proceeds, and
• How much it might cost to fix the problems? 

And you need the answers quickly while the property is still on the market. 

Many of the virtues of a building are readily evident even to a novice property buyer.  What is needed is a wide-ranging, systematic investigation and professional interpretation what is seen – and not seen – then clearly communicating any shortcomings to the client together with desired rectification work, a suggested schedule of works and estimated costs.

There is no time for extensive research or for an inspector to learn on-the-job.  You need the nitty-gritty from a hard-nosed master builder with years of experience handling wide-ranging challenges as a building supervisor or, ideally, as a professional building owner-renovator. They also need to be a good communicator.

Architects and draftsmen may be experts in specifying the skeleton, organs and fabric of new builds and renovations but are less well equipped to spot what is wrong with an existing building without tests, consultation and, of course, added costs.

Building Degree and Diploma Graduates who lack any breadth of practical experience in the industry may have little to offer, either.

Just as an aircraft or orchestra is more than the sum of their parts, so too is a building.  A qualified tradesman might report with authority about their own field of expertise – such as the electrics or plumbing – but not necessarily with the same level of skill on other matters. 

Many tradesmen who progress to become licensed builders, initially lack broad building experience and hope to pick it up over time.  Some do; some don’t.

Registered master builders with many difficult renovations of existing homes and offices successfully completed under their belt are best equipped to provide the answers and guidance that prospective property buyers need.

You might well ask why they would choose to undertake pre-purchase building inspections, building inspections, pest inspections and asbestos inspections for a modest fee when they could make more money continuing with their own renovation projects.

The building industry is tough and unforgiving.  It takes its toll on building renovators and redevelopers.  There comes a time in the life of many when they want to step back to catch their breath.  They occasionally want to smell the roses yet still continue an active involvement in the vibrant building industry – the blood of which still pumps through their veins.

They have not lost their touch – nor do they want to.

They know how to spot problems and fix them fast, yet properly, and at low cost.  This experience they readily share in their reports and conversations with you.

Just because a building inspector has grey hair, it doesn’t mean they are the best person to carry out an inspection report on your behalf.  Quiz them before you appoint them.  Remember, there is no government licensing certification for building inspectors.

Ask them about their length of experience in building inspections and during the years prior starting out in this field.  What is their background and what, specifically, have they done?  Try to get some hard numbers and facts. You are probably making a major property investment and will be relying to some extent on the scope and thoroughness of their investigations and their conclusions, recommendations and costings.

Yes, you need to undertake your own due diligence on the building inspector you are considering commissioning.  Make sure that the person you speak to about the inspection is the person who actually carries out the work.  And don’t forget to ask them about their professional Indemnity Insurance cover.

Building Masters Building Inspections is a group of expert building inspectors each with years of practical experience, who competently undertake wide-ranging building inspection assignments:

pre-purchase inspection
combined building and pest inspection
asbestos inspection and
building inspection in Melbourne suburbs including Mornington peninsula. 

Learn more about the author Mike Heathcote, today.

Building Masters Building Inspections can be contacted on 1300 780 931 or via their website www.buildingmasters.com.au.  They are really good, down-to-earth people to work with.
 

 

Don’t buy a home without one

The purchase of a home is a challenging process for most people. One can easily become enchanted by the layout and presentation of a home with the heart over-ruling the head.

Buying a property is the most important single investment decision most families will ever make. When buying a property, good decisions require:

  • clear thinking;
  • a good understanding of the property buying process;
  • close observation and interpretation of the house detail as well as the larger picture;
  • the ability to see the building shell for what it is and might become;
  • knowledge of comparative property prices and auction clearance rates in the locality, and
  • good negotiation skills.

Add to this list the finance required, debt servicing capability and sourcing the most appropriate form of finance at lowest cost and it is easy to see why many people find the process daunting.

Astute buyers understand when to call upon expert help. For first-time and hesitant purchasers, buyers advocates can often provide invaluable advice and assistance when determining property values and can often negotiate and bid at auction on behalf of the client. Architects can provide guidance on what might be done with the building, but often do not have the practical knowledge of effective solutions and work required.

While all the above steps and others too, are all very important, the primary question remains whether you should make an offer at all?

You need to know that the building is safe (including free of asbestos), is structurally sound, compliant with all planning and building regulations, and free of insect pests, rot and accelerating deterioration. Some of these items might be picked up by the layperson. However, the report of an experienced building inspector can remove many of the unknowns about a house and help you decide whether to proceed with the purchase.

Building Masters Inspections has a team of experienced building inspectors serving Melbourne and suburbs. All our building inspectors are registered building practitioners with many years of hands-on-experience and further training in building inspection defect reporting and protocols. They know how to quickly identify properly-built homes and recognise indicators of building defects and potential problems.

Some renovations require a planning permit; some just require Council approval while all works must comply with Building Regulations. Failure to comply could result in considerable outlays to achieve compliance, even the inability to insure the property. Large, costly problems might justify either not proceeding with a purchase or renegotiating a lower price. Prior consultation with your solicitor could help decide the best way to proceed in the event of material adverse findings in the property inspection report, and how provision for such remedy should be included in a contract of sale.

Visit Building Masters Melbourne website at http://www.buildingmastersinspections.com.au/ or phone 1300 780 931 to book an appointment with a Building Masters building inspector – someone who can look beyond the obvious of a property and professionally report and advise of potential problems, remedial options and strategies, estimated costs and recommended priorities.

 

 

Buying a new home is always an important and exciting time of your life. This home buying guide will walk you through why a building or house inspection is so important before purchasing a new home.

Buying a home is not a something you do everyday and is a huge investment, therefore it is important to find out if your desired property has any hidden defects or faults that might cost you money and heartache in the long run.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Have an Inspection?

Right now, you might be thinking that a house inspection is an unnecessary expense but the cost of not having one can lead to even higher costs – not just financially, but also emotionally as evident by the examples below.

Case Study 1

Evan and Ashley thought that they had bought their dream home in Point Cook. But their dream quickly turned into a nightmare. They incurred about $50k in additional costs because they were unaware of wiring and plumbing problems that had to be fixed after purchasing the place. If they had a building inspection done, they might have been able to lower the sale price to make up for the additional repair costs or forgo the house altogether.

Case Study 2

Andrew and Junie being first time homeowners bought an apartment in South Melbourne without a pre purchase inspection. The day they moved in it rained and water seeped in under the doors from the balcony, damaging the carpet and some of their furniture. Junie was at work at the time and did not notice until she returned home that night. It turned into a highly stressful situation for these two first time homeowners.  If they had gone with a house inspection, it would have been found that the balcony tiling had been incorrectly installed and they may have negotiated a lower purchase and had the opportunity of having the balcony repaired prior to moving in.

The house inspection cost far outweighs the financial risks and emotional heartache that stems from buying the wrong property. Don’t let it happen to you.

What Exactly is a Building Inspection and What Does it Include?

A building or house inspection usually gives you an assessment of the following:

  •    presence of pests such as termites (or white ants)
  •  asbestos in the house
  •  roof space and sub-floor (to check for structural damage)
  •  guttering, down pipes and sub-terrain storm water pipes;
  •  footings (the base of foundation walls);
  • doors;
  • ceilings;
  • framing;
  • plumbing;
  • wiring;
  • dampness;
  • rot;
  • window space (to ensure your windows are adequately sealed); and
  • report any features of the house that do not meet current regulations, including illegal extensions or alterations to the property.

Pre-Purchase Defect Reports as Buying Negotiating Tools

After a house inspection, you will receive a full and comprehensive report known as a defect or pre-purchase report that highlights every area that needs special attention and work. At Building Masters, we provide guidance on all issues involving repairs, renovations, rebuilding and the costs involved.

The pre-purchase defect report can be a very powerful negotiating tool in the home buying process. If there any faults or defects found within the property, you can then use the report to potentially lower the asking price or pull out of the deal to avoid making a bad financial investment. Spend a little money on a building inspection and save more in the long run.

Choosing the Right Building Inspector

Now that you’ve understood the importance of a building inspection, it is essential that you choose a quality building inspector to do the job. Building Masters Inspectors are senior Registered Building Practitioners with years of hands-on practical experience. Unlike some of our competitors we are not designers or draftsmen or surveyors. We are the real deal with practical knowledge of building problems, costs and solutions.

Check into the qualifications of the inspectors and ask for a sample building report. At Building Masters, all our inspectors are veteran builders with decades of industry knowledge. The more qualified your inspector, the better – since they will be more likely to find any problems with your desired property.

If you are house hunting and would like multiple inspections, make sure you get an inspector who can offer you a discounted rate for bulk inspections to get more value for your money.

Remember, inspect before you buy!

 

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TESTIMONIALS


Hi Mike,

Thanks for your help yesterday. If it wasn’t for you we would have been saddled with a lemon. We have exercised our right to withdraw in the cooling off period and barring any other tricks we have hopefully managed to save thousands of dollars. We feel like we’ve learned a bunch and will most definitely be using your services again in the future (and telling all our friends!).

Thank you very much,
Sincerely,
Cameron 

 

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