5 Reasons You Can’t Forgo a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection

So you’ve brought your builder mate Dave along to help you inspect your future home.

Dave is a professional and has built a gazillion houses in his time. He has totally assured you that he’s “got a keen eye for this sort of thing”, and you’ve seen his work — he knows his stuff… you like Dave. You trust Dave. Dave has got this.

I might be a little biased here but I can pretty safely say that, ‘no, Dave has not got this’. He might be an astounding builder but he’s not going into this with the experience, the know-how, the time, or the specialist equipment that can often be needed to thoroughly assess a property.

It might be easier not to bother getting a pre-purchase building inspection but it can also be one of the riskiest, most dangerous and costly mistakes you could make. So with that said, I’m going to take you through just some of the reasons why you might want to think twice about deciding to forgo a pre-purchase building inspection.

1. It could save you thousands

Contrary to the idea that pre-purchase building inspections are nothing more than a waste of your hard earned money, you might be surprised to learn that having one could in actual fact, save you thousands upon thousands in the long run. Just think about how high those stacks of cash would look — then imagine throwing it all into a fast flowing river… because that it essentially what can happen when well meaning individuals (such as yourself, I’m sure) decide not to bother with pre-purchase inspections and then find themselves up a certain kind of creek with not a paddle in sight.

How is it that you could end paying more by forgoing a pre-purchase building inspection, I hear you ask? I love that you asked that because I was just about to go there myself. 

Hidden repairs.  

A large majority of housing defects are not easily found and many can’t be detected with the naked eye. Oftentimes, only in-depth knowledge, specialist equipment, and many years of experience are what’s needed to completely uncover the full extent of problems a house may have. And it’s precisely when these hidden issues go undetected that the unsuspecting buyer (hopefully not you after reading this!) is the one who ends up having to pay an arm and a leg to undo said damages. 

2. Plan for renovations

If you’re going into the property market with the intention of flipping a house or if you’re on the hunt for some serious discounts, then you’re likely going to find yourself looking at something that requires a little TLC — “a renovator’s dream” if you will. This can be a great way to save big on the outset, but definitely needs to be well thought out because if you don’t know exactly what you’re working with, you could end up in hot water. 

By getting a pre-purchase building inspection, you’re handing over the responsibility of finding out everything you need to know about this property to an expert in the field — and if they know what they’re doing, then they’ll be able to tell you exactly what you’re getting for the asking price of the home. 

If you want to take the guesswork out of estimating repairs then the best thing you can do is have a highly trained expert (preferably with over 30 years experience *wink, wink — nudge, nudge*) to conduct a comprehensive pre-purchase building assessment so that you can make well informed decisions. 

At Building Masters Inspections, we check for hundreds of potential defects, which means you’ll have a full list of each and every bit of work a given property needs done, and exactly how much it’s going to cost you. From there you can do the numbers and decide on the best course of action. 

3. Safety, safety, safety!

Did I mention safety? If you’re thinking of buying a family home then safety is going to be at the top of your list… at least it should be — unless you’re a family of thrill seeking, bungee-jumping, monster-truck driving maniacs… but even still! I think we can all agree that living in a home free from potential dangers is going to be a priority for just about anyone. 

Unsurprisingly, this is where a pre-purchase building inspection comes in handy. 

Ever heard of asbestos? If the answer is “yes”, then it’s likely you’re well aware of the potential dangers it can pose. ‘Silent but deadly’, couldn’t be a truer description. If you’re looking at buying a home that was built before 1990, there’s a significant chance that it was built using asbestos, and if there’s any chance that your dream-home-to-be is secretly harbouring asbestos, believe me — you will want to know about it. 

On top of this, potential dangers that can easily go unnoticed during a standard house inspection are possible faults with electrical wiring, which can sometimes be a serious risk of electrocution, and even start fires. And speaking of fires, another thing that can often get forgotten are smoke alarms. It might seem like an insignificant side note, but these little guys are literally life savers.

4. Termites

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to experience the joys of termite infestation then you’ll know just how much fun they can be — and if you can’t tell that I’m being sarcastic, then you clearly know nothing about termites. They ain’t fun. These pesky little critters spend their days running around your home and slowly eating it from the inside out, and because they are notoriously difficult to detect, this can often go on until the wooden structures reach a point of no return and there’s nothing left to do but dismantle and demolish.

By getting a pre-purchase building inspection, you can rest assured knowing that you won’t have to worry about whether or not these pests have set up camp under your roof once you’ve moved in. And if it so happens that they have, then a pre-purchase inspection will help you determine the extent of the damage already done, and whether or not you want to go through with the application knowing that you’ll now be sharing with a few hundred thousand pestiferous housemates.

5. Structural damage

This is a big one. If you buy a home that is structurally unsound or has existing damage to its structural integrity, this could potentially spell disaster, with a capital ‘D’. 

Firstly, there are often times when properties will get built with little to no regard for standard building regulations — which is technically illegal — and if this goes unnoticed, and then you end up buying one of these dodgy builds, it then becomes your responsibility to bring it up to code. I don’t think I need to tell you that this is an expense that you’d rather avoid. 

Secondly, a property that has serious structural issues can often be irreparable — meaning, no matter how much you might love that gorgeous seaside cottage you’ve always dreamt about, there will be no way of returning it to its former glory. Or in other words, love can’t physically help this property defy the laws of physics… Also another way of saying, it’s a goner. Heart breaking stuff.

Thirdly, and far more serious than a broken heart, is that a structurally unsound home can quite simply be at risk of collapsing… meaning that someone is going to end up with far more than a broken heart in this instance. 

Summary

Is it just me, or have pre-purchase building inspections started to look a lot more attractive over the course of this article?

The crazy thing is that this is by no means an exhaustive list of reasons why getting a pre-purchase building inspection is in your best interests. This is more of a snapshot of just some of the most common, important, and disastrous that I’ve come across in my extensive career as a building inspector.  

So I hope you’ll trust me when I say in all honesty that making the choice to pay a small upfront fee to have your future dream home thoroughly assessed could in fact be the best one of the best decisions you ever make… no matter how much you trust your builder mate, Dave. Sorry Dave, it’s not personal.

If you’re on the look out for a new home, then getting a pre-purchase building inspection is going to be your next best move!

Give Building Masters a call on 1300 033 332 or inquire online for a highly professional, expertly conducted, and very affordable service that has left hundreds of satisfied customers in the best purchasing positions possible. 

By |2021-05-11T13:07:17+00:00May 11th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mike Heathcote
Mike Heathcote is the founder of Building Masters Inspections and a veteran builder with decades of experience. Utilising his decades of industry knowledge, Mike has set up a Building Inspection service that is catered towards providing expert opinion on the true condition of buildings and helping house buyers find their perfect home Melbourne wide.

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