Building Inspections: Your Property’s Best Friend

Before you decide to buy a property, we highly recommend that you obtain a building inspection from an experienced, reputable, and registered building inspector.

These inspections are more than just a formality; they’re your safeguard against unforeseen problems and unexpected costs down the track.

In this article, we outline why building inspections are so essential, including an important reminder that the seller’s obligations may vary. While major structural defects are typically covered, it’s crucial to note that sellers are generally only obligated to rectify items they are contractually required to address. For instance, issues like roof plumbing are unlikely to be included in their obligations.

Additionally, most contracts include a clause regarding the “good working order” of electrical, gas, and plumbing fixtures and fittings, but this isn’t always guaranteed.

Understanding property building inspections

Have you ever wished you could take your potential home for a test drive before making the big purchase? Unfortunately, unlike a car, you can’t do that with a house. That’s where pre-purchase building inspections come in.

They’re your window into what’s happening beneath the surface. These inspections primarily focus on identifying major structural issues like building subsidence, as well as other critical defects that could impact your comfort, such as plumbing problems or troublesome roof leaks.

Choosing the right time for an inspection

The ideal moment for a building and pest inspection typically arrives after you’ve submitted an offer for a property. It’s essential that both the building and pest inspections are included as conditions of sale in the Offer and Acceptance document.

As a buyer, you’ll be responsible for arranging both inspections. Once you’ve identified a building inspector or inspection company you trust, they’ll liaise with the selling agent to schedule a convenient time to assess the property. Your appointed settlement agent can assist with recommending a reputable building inspection company.

Exploring the costs

The cost of a pre-purchase building inspection can vary significantly, ranging from $300 to $1,000. Several factors influence the price tag. It depends on who conducts the inspection, their qualifications, and their experience.

Keep in mind that a seasoned inspector with an extensive track record may charge a bit more, but their reputation is often worth the investment. Additionally, the complexity of the inspection itself can affect the cost.

If the property has numerous rooms, features like a pool or sheds, multiple levels, or holds heritage status, these factors may increase the overall expense. On the bright side, many building inspectors offer fixed-price options, so don’t hesitate to inquire about this when scheduling your inspection.

How long does an inspection take?

If you opt for a building inspection with a pest inspection included, it may extend to approximately 2 to 3 hours. Several factors influence the duration, including the property’s size, style, and most importantly, the number of defects that need attention.

Upon receiving the inspection reports, our team will swing into action. As your appointed settlement agent, we take the time to review the reports meticulously. Our goal is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the property’s condition and any issues identified during the inspection.

Uncover hidden issues

An inspection can reveal the true condition of the property, bringing hidden issues to light. Sometimes, even the property owner may not be aware of existing problems. By having an inspection, you gain the advantage of knowing the property’s actual state, enabling you to negotiate more effectively. You can request necessary repairs or adjustments to the purchase price before settlement.

Detect termite activity

In Perth, where the climate is conducive to termite activity, detecting termite infestations early can save you from significant damage and expenses. Building inspections are a crucial tool for identifying current and previous termite damage. Plus, they provide valuable insights into conditions that may attract termites, such as low-lying pathways, water pooling, garden beds close to the dwelling, or the use of timber sleepers in gardens and paths.

Common issues uncovered in building inspections

Here are some of the most common issues our experienced inspectors have encountered during building inspections in Perth:

    • Rising damp
    • Termite damage (current and previous)
    • Leaking showers
    • Roof leaks
    • Footing failures
    • Structural issues
    • Stormwater drains not properly connected

Beware of unqualified inspectors

Not all building inspectors in WA are created equal. Shockingly, some individuals can complete a two or three-day course and then start working as a “building inspector.”

As a settlement agency with three decades of experience, we’ve seen our fair share of subpar reports that have caused significant distress to buyers and sellers.

Don’t cut corners on building inspections

We understand that buying or selling a home can be a costly process, and keeping your expenses down is crucial. However, when it comes to building inspections, this is one aspect where we strongly advise against choosing the cheapest option. Avoiding or cutting corners on a thorough inspection can lead to costly surprises down the road, putting your purchase and peace of mind at risk.

We’re committed to ensuring that your property transaction is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Building inspections are your best defence against unforeseen property issues, and they provide invaluable peace of mind.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in your property journey.