Home buyer horror story: Over 200 reasons to inspect before you buy
Last week, while inspecting a home for one of our clients we found a serious contender for our notorious “Worst New House of the Year Award”. Like so many brand new houses, from the outside, there was no indication of the horror lurking within its walls.
Although the house has never been lived in before it somehow still had over 200 defects. This in itself is not so out-of-the-ordinary, but when the report results in a sick inspector from exposure to raw sewerage, we can see why this particular house has made it onto our list.
It might be hard to believe that the house is even on the market with a report like that. Sadly, we live in the era of what we like to call “drive by inspections” carried out by some of the less scrupulous Building Surveyors, whose primary responsibility is to protect the home buyer consumer.
What do we mean?
Picture this: ‘Sam’, the building surveyor, drives to one of the residential construction sites on his list and unwinds his window.
“Hi Barry, how’s the house coming?”
‘Barry’ the builder looks up and nods, ” Great, just finishing the final touches.”
“Good to hear,” says ‘Sam’ winding up his window and ticking items off of his checklist.
Completely confident that he has met his required quality control, ‘Sam’ drives on to the next site on his list.
Over 200 defects on one property report
We obviously recommended that the client bring the issues to the attention of their builder and the responsible plumbing contractor but unfortunately, stories like this are all too common.
The Building Masters inspector responsible for checking the house before the new owner made the final payment fell ill as a result of exposure to the contaminated environment encountered within the property. He was sick for the next two days.
Not only was the house approved by the surveyor, but the builder wanted the new owner to take possession.
Fumes from the sewer were able to enter the dwelling from uncapped upstands – there was a distinctly unpleasant sewerage odour throughout the whole dwelling. This is very unhealthy and has the potential to cause health problems
The electrical fit off was not yet finished
The roof flashing allows stormwater to enter the frame
The garage door required the top edge to be sealed against stormwater entry so as to prevent rot
The wall paint was uneven both in colour and cover
Gaps in the flooring
The toilet didn’t flush
The kitchen plumbing fit off is not yet complete
The air ductwork is not yet complete
The nails used for holding the cornice in place were not punched and filled but simply painted over and there is damage to the cornice
…The list literally goes on.
As we can see, for many builders a rush job is good enough as far as they are concerned because, at the end of the day, if a build is taking too long it’s costing them money. From their point of view, they would rather just forget about it.
The next time you are looking to buy a home, new or previously lived in, just remember ‘Sam’ the Surveyor and ‘Barry’ the builder are out there waiting for unsuspecting home buyers.
A quality building inspection report is a small price to pay for peace of mind the knowledge that the house of your dreams is exactly what it seems. To find out more about the services and advice we offer at Building Masters Inspections, contact us today on 1300 033 332. or via our website.
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.