Mr Inspector has been conducting pre-purchase building inspections since 2004 and a consistently recommended to home buyers by banks. mortgage brokers, conveyancers, buyers agents and lawyers and offers advice to buyers on what to look out for when buying a property.

Mr Inspector believes you are taking a huge risk by not getting a building and termite inspection before purchasing.  In Melbourne’s crazy house market at the moment where it is hard to secure a property, more inspections means less money for your deposit, but it’s a huge risk to disregard a building inspection.  Here’s some tips to help prospective buyers in making sure the financial risk to them is minimal –

  1. Get your lawyer or conveyancer to look over the contract before you engage a building inspector to assess the home.
  2. Getting the inspection before you make offer – this makes the process simpler if things go wrong in the inspection.  If you make the purchase “subject to a building inspection” and signed the typical REIV contract which only stipulates Major Structural defects and live termites you may get stuck with a home with multiple major defects which are not structural of with termite damage but no live termites. This leaves you out of pocket when numerous expensive defects and termite damage can be non structural and with no live termites.  See more about this here.
  3. Have a look at the lower internal and external walls if an old solid brick home.  Paint bubble can mean rising damp.
  4. Walk around without your shoes on – you will feel uneven floors easier.  If they are uneven, see if you can see timber or concrete stumps under the home.  If the home is constructed on timber stump footings and the floors are uneven it is likely restumping is required – $15-20,000.
  5. Have a look at the walls outside the bathroom for skirting board swelling and staining.  This can be leaks from the shower.
  6. Have a look at the ceilings for stains – this can be leaks.
  7. Walk around outside and look for cracks.  Large cracks can be expensive to repair with underpinning works required.
  8. Stand back across the street and look at the roof line for unevenness and sagging.  This can be an expensive fix to straighten.
  9. Have a look at the squareness of doors and windows – close them and see if they are uneven. This can mean a current of past footings issue.

Remember, if you see some of things above it doesn’t mean you should not go near it.  Everything is rectifiable.

The tips above are no substitute to an inspector conducting a thorough building inspection and going over the property as we have more time to closely assess in the roof, under the house and use moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras to assess.

You also won’t go where most defects are found during a building and pest inspection – under the house.  See the photo below of non compliant repair works to rotten stumps in an attempt to stabilise rotten stumps.

Mr Inspector wishes you well in your property search and if you have any questions please call 0409495949.