Looking for Your Forever Home? Costly Traps You Can’t Afford to Fall Into
So the time has come. It’s going to be your first home purchase – an existing home. You have settled on the basic features you want and the suburbs where you wish to settle.
After much research, attending countless Open House inspections and auctions, you are now starting to get a decent idea of the real price of houses being sold in these areas – not just what the real estate agents would like you to believe – but what you actually get for your money.
Having decided 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 your dream home.
A Home Truth
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, and taking a million photos of every skirting board in each house you visited, after time, motivations wane and recollections become blur together.
Houses today are incredibly well presented and staged to a tee. No one would blame you for being misled by a fresh coat of periwinkle blue paint, brand new Persian rugs, elegantly placed scatter cushions, and contemporary light fittings that would make even presenter Kevin McCloud delirious with envy. Grand Designs eat your heart out.
They are all designed to sell you on an image… a representation of what you yourselfmight create. The vendors will try to create an emotional pull that may easily blind prospective buyers to the real condition and suitability of the property.
So just when you’re about to take that first step onto the property ladder, it might dawn on you that those hand-blown crystal door handles and 0 throw rugs are not giving you the full picture.
You’re a smart cookie, we don’t doubt that, but are you absolutely positive you could uncover the true state of this property or the next? Get it wrong and you could be up for tens of thousands of dollars in remedial work. No joke.
A Bang-up Job!
You might regard yourself as a bit of a handy-person – reasonably good with the hammer and saw, but that won’t qualify you to recognise dangerous asbestos fibres lurking in the ceilings and walls.
You might have saved your buddy Steve a headache by fixing his clogged drain in the kitchen sink, but that might not help if you’ve just put down a deposit for a house with drainage issues affecting the very foundations or causing dampness and rot.
You might fancy yourself a modern day Edison: repairing the odd power point here, a light switch there, and 20 metres of electrical tape later, everything is good to go… but if this house needs a complete rewiring, you may be out of your depth.
If a building extension or outbuilding does not comply with regulations and needs to be demolished…well, obviously that’s something you like to know before buying the property.
And God forbid there is any evidence of termites!
A Stitch in Time…
If you, like the majority of hard-working individuals in this day and age, find yourself starved for time, this will likely play a major role in your decision making process when purchasing a new home. When time is in such short supply, it can be tempting to make rash decisions and not take the necessary effort to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. If this line of thinking sounds familiar then we urge you to take heed…
Property inspections: You should not risk buying a house without knowing whether or not it is fundamentally sound
If you were considering buying a second-hand car for $30,000, you would likely call in an expert – a mechanic or a motorist service – to run their eye over the car before you fork over your hard-earned money. No matter how shiny it is.
So it goes without saying that for a purchase upward of 20-40 times more, finding yourself an expert building inspector to look over your prospective property/properties is a no-brainer.
But “Who?!”, I hear you ask. “Who will need?” – “How do I choose?” – “What do I look for?” These are all valid questions.
You would want someone extensive knowledge in construction, perhaps a retired builder with years of experience in home renovations and construction. Someone with an expert eye to cast over your short-list of homes and provide objective feedback, completely free from bias.
You would need someone who is available at short notice and not in any way tied up with the real estate agent or vendor. We wouldn’t trust them as far as we could throw them (but let’s not get into that now).
Someone who can tell you what you need to know. Clearly, succinctly, and provide visual evidence of the problems they have identified. No jargon to be found. That person should also be able to advise on the range of costs to make any necessary repairs.
This is where we come in…
Building Masters Inspections
Building Masters Inspections is a group of proven, builders who have retired from a variety of demanding, stressful fields in the industry to channel their experience in helping prospective house and commercial building buyers make sound purchases.
Fresh paint over a wall might be there to cover-up rising damp. The sound of a tapping in the walls could raise alarm bells (are termites abound?). Looking at a switchboard tells them deep, dark secrets. 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 033 332. Mike leads a 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 where you stand with Mike and his team: they will give you the likely repair costs so you can be better equipped to confidently decide whether to proceed with your purchase, seek a lower price or walk away altogether.
Mike Heathcote is the founder of Building Masters Inspections and a veteran builder with decades of experience. Utilising his industry knowledge, Mike and his team of experienced Builders provide an Inspection Service offering expert opinion on the true condition of buildings, including estimated repair costs, helping home buyers find their perfect property, Melbourne wide.