Although it may initially seem like an unnecessary expense or even a waste of time, there are numerous reasons why it is crucial to have a pre-purchase building inspection done before signing any paperwork. Below are just some of the reasons why.
1. Detect Potential Structural Issues
Undetected structural issues can not only cause significant damage to a property and/or injure someone; in many cases, these issues are not able to be repaired without performing major – and expensive – construction. All properties must conform to Australian Standards and any other applicable National Construction Codes, and if you purchase a non-compliant property, you will be liable for all costs associated with bringing the building up to code. Obtaining a pre-purchase inspection will enable you to avoid purchasing a home that has major structural issues.
2. Ensure that Electrical Installations are Compliant
Faulty electrical wiring and appliances can increase the risk of electrocution or cause devastating fires. During a pre-purchase inspection, inspectors will check for issues such as halogen lights that have been installed without fire protection covers, damaged wire insulation, faulty plug points or circuits, faulty breaker switches and appliances or installations that don’t conform to current safety standards. Another aspect that will be inspected is whether the property has a sufficient amount of smoke alarms.
3. Identify Unsafe Aspects
When buying a home, you want to ensure that it is completely safe for your family to live in. When a pre-purchase inspection is done, various items will be closely scrutinized. These can include checking for the presence of asbestos, loose, missing or non-compliant balustrades, sub-standard pool fencing, non-compliant decking or even balconies that have not been built according to current safety standards. Having safety hazards such as these revealed before signing purchase paperwork can help you decide whether you would like to have the repairs done or source an alternative property instead.
4. Illegal Building Alterations
Up to 35% of homes have had illegal construction work performed on them. Not only can these issues be expensive to repair; they can result in someone being seriously injured as well. During pre-inspections, issues such as load bearing walls that have been removed during DIY building projects, illegal wiring or poorly installed light fixtures and appliances will all be detected. Buying a home that has been illegally altered along the way could result in you being held liable in a court of law if someone is injured or killed – even if you didn’t perform the construction projects. In addition, most insurance companies will not cover damages caused by existing illegal construction projects.
5. Termite Infestations
Another aspect that is carefully scrutinized during a pre-purchase inspection is potential termite activity. Up to 10% of homes display evidence of termite infestations, and as with illegal construction projects, insurance companies won’t cover you for pre-existing damage caused by these pests.
If you would like to find out more about our pre-purchase inspection service, contact us today to schedule an appointment with our inspectors.