While home inspections are optional, home buyers should consider getting one done before signing any contract. This will prevent surprises and costly repairs in the future.
5 things you should know about pre-purchase home inspections if you are a buyer
1. What is a pre-purchase home inspection report?
A pre-purchase home inspection report is a written account of the condition of the property. Both the seller and buyer can hire a building inspector to do this before any transaction is done. The report will include major property defects such as rising damp, cracking walls, damage to the roof, or any safety hazards. It is important to identify any problems with the property so you won’t have to spend on repairs once the property is turned over to you.
2. Who can do a pre-purchase home inspection report?
The home inspector must be certified. Contractors may know how to fix parts of the house but they are not trained to spot trouble signs. A certified home inspector has the expertise in finding existing and potential problems that may be missed by a non-professional.
Your real estate agent can provide you with a list of certified building inspectors that you might want to consider hiring. These pros know what to look for and even find hidden defects that may have been masked by cosmetic improvements. At the end of the inspection they will provide you with a complete report.
Make sure that your home inspector has adequate insurance coverage and delivers a report that complies with the Australian Standard (AS 4349.1).
3. What are included in a pre-purchase home inspection?
The format of a pre-purchase home inspection report may adopt a standard checklist or be tailored for a specific property. The most important thing is that the inspection report complies with the Australian Standard (AS 4349.1).
A home inspection report will generally include the following areas:
- Property site
- Exterior of the building
- Surface water drainage
- Storm water run-off
- Garage, carport, and garden shed
- Paths and driveways
- Interior of the building
- Roof exterior and space
- Under-floor space
- Toilet and laundry area
- Small retaining walls
If you want the report to include any specific item that you want checked, you should inform your home inspector.
The report summary should provide you with information on the overall condition of the property including major problems that need urgent repair.
Note that a standard report will only include a visual inspection. The home inspector may not identify structural problems or other hidden defects. If you want a more thorough inspection, you might consider ordering a special purpose report from an accredited specialist such as a pest inspector, surveyor, structural engineer, or the electricity or water supply authority.
4. What is NOT included in a pre-purchase home inspection?
A standard pre-purchase home inspection report does not usually include the following:
- Minor defects
- Termite infestation
- Inside the walls
- Septic tanks
- Structures separate from the main house
- Plumbing, drainage and gas lines
- Concealed damp-proofing
- HVAC systems
- Electrical wiring and smoke detectors
- Swimming pools and equipment
- Fireplaces and chimneys
- Sprinkler systems
- Alarm and intercom systems
- Paint coatings
- Television reception
- Garbage disposal systems
- Ducted vacuum systems
- Range hoods
- Home appliances
- Inaccessible parts of the property
- An estimate of repair costs
5. How to request a pre-purchase home inspection report?
A building inspector will typically need 2 to 3 days’ notice to conduct a pre-purchase home inspection.
Once you start negotiating with the seller, ask for permission to have a home inspection done. This should give you enough time to make a decision. The pre-purchase home inspection report will help you determine if the property is worth buying.
Contact Exceptional Building Inspections Today
For professional and proficient building inspections, contact Exceptional Building Inspections. With us, you can be sure that we take our time to meticulously conduct our inspections for the protection of our clients. If you are looking to buy a home, we highly recommend you employ our services for efficient pre-purchase building inspections and reports before you close that sale.