When you buy a second hand car, unless you’re mechanically minded, you’ll ask for a mechanic or a trustworthy motoring organisation to check it out. However, although people do due diligence on their vehicle purchases, some are not so diligent when buying property.
Given that there’s probably quite a bit more money on the table when it comes to buying a property, it makes good sense to have the house, whether it’s for living in or as an investment, checked out.
There have been horror stories of property owners paying tens of thousands of dollars to rectify termite infestations, and even of people being in the building when the house collapsed around them.
The advantage of getting an independent inspection by someone who knows what they’re looking for as they are not involved emotionally. They have no interest in the property other than to tell you what’s wrong with it, so while you might not like the results, at least you know what you’re up against.
What will the inspector check?
While you can see cracks, lifting floors and water leaks, the inspector will look for what you can’t see. They will look for signs of termites or other pests both inside and out. This includes the roof space, underfloor space, the roof exterior and they will examine the property grounds. Some inspections are now also offering thermal imaging, microwave scanners and moisture testing in their packages.
How much does a report cost?
Building and pest inspection reports start from around $450, but basic ones are cheaper. However, remember you get what you pay for. The cheaper ones may not be as thorough.
Which one to choose?
We always recommend you use an authorised and accredited licensed building and pest inspector. Ask to see sample reports so you can view the reporting style and see if it suits your needs. Don’t be afraid of asking questions as to what is and isn’t included, such as physically discussing the report with you to highlight areas of concern.
When should I pull out?
This is really up to you. There is no right or wrong time to pull out and it all depends on your finances and how much you want the property. Some people will buy a property knowing there will be expensive issues to put right, but they love the property, have the capital for renovations and are prepared to pay a premium for it. Others will negotiate the price down. Many people, particularly investors will cut their losses and quit before they need to spend more money on rectifying a problem.
With some reports stating as many as 1 in 4 properties in Australia are affected by termites in their lifetime, getting a pest inspection done is money well spent if it means you avoid unexpected, costly surprises later.
It’s also worth checking your buildings insurance, as some policies don’t actually cover termite damage.
If you’re looking to buy or sell your property, or have any queries about the buying or selling process, pop in or give us a ring and our experienced team will be pleased to help out.