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Buyer Beware: Understanding building and pest inspections

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Your Investment Property | 07 Dec 2007, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Building and pest inspections highlight a property’s defects and can often help buyers negotiate a lower purchase price. While most investors agree that property inspections are essential, many are in the dark on how to make sense of the ticks in the boxes
  • Disgruntled | 25 Mar 2015, 06:59 PM Agree 0
    We employed a firm to carry out a pre-purchase inspection 12 months ago and items that were listed as minor have turned out to be catastrophic.
    Minor effervescence and hair line cracks in the garage slab we are now told is concrete cancer as a result of poor drainage indicated by damp patches on the pavers - not noted on the report.
    Rear verandah attached to top brick course of rear retaining wall - told must be OK as their assumption is that everything on site is council compliant.
    Front verandah pavers subsiding - minor cosmetic repairs. Turns out to be major works as nearby retaining wall collapsing - not noted on report.
    Also DON't rely on a Final Certificate of Occupancy because it does not mean that the council have inspected the building at all. It just means that they believe that the builder is a nice fellow and must have done the work properly and if he hasn't and you complain they've probably lost the plans anyway..
  • Correy Smith | 19 Jun 2015, 08:09 AM Agree 0
    When would it be a good time to do a building and pest inspection? My wife and I have several inspectors come during the spring time to do the inspection. We were talking about if for quite some time and were wondering if we were doing it right.
    • Wayne | 25 Oct 2018, 05:14 PM Agree 0
      Correy, the best time to carry out the inspection is whenever you and/or the property is ready. The time of year doesn't really matter. The condition is much more important then the season.
  • Wayne | 25 Oct 2018, 05:11 PM Agree 0
    @Disgruntled, Its not difficult to criticise a property inspection after the fact when problems are obvious but as you would have agreed to the terms and conditions of the inspection, inspectors cannot see inside concrete slabs and brick walls.

    For one example concrete cancer. It can exist inside a slab with rusting reo bars but until its forces the concrete slab to actually crack its not visually obvious.

    This is the dilemna property inspectors have and its why they need to protect themselves legally as people expect them to have sup-er human vision and a 6th sense to detect problems that havn't occurred yet.

    If you want an engineering inspection expect to pay for one, which will be a lot more expensive than your standard pre purchase building and pest inspection.

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