Excited to get your hands on your first home? Or maybe you need a new house for your growing family? Whatever the reason is, preparing all the paperwork needed to buy a house will take up a lot of your time. There is a long list of documents you will need. Included in this list is a building inspection report, which gives you a summary of the general condition of the house you’re about to buy. After all, you wouldn’t want to move into a house and discover, weeks after paying for it, that you have a termite infestation or damaged structural support. Also, keep in mind that this report has a fee; the cost depends on the size, location, and structure of the property. Here are some tips to make sure you get a comprehensive report.
Find the right professional
A building inspection report is usually done by a consulting company, which specialises in building and home inspections. A consulting company usually hires an architect, a surveyor, or a licensed builder. These professionals can spot faults and signs of damage that are invisible to the untrained eye. They’re also trained to make sure that the inspection report is compliant with the Australian Building Standard. If you’re looking for a qualified inspector, start your search at the Master Builders Australia.
Know what’s included in the report
A standard building inspection report should cover the following areas: a home’s interiors and exteriors, space under the floor, roof space, the exterior of the roof, and the site. When inspecting the site, the garden garage, fencing, steps, carport, and shed should be thoroughly examined for signs of damage or wear and tear. Walls, ceilings, doors, guttering, and framing should also be inspected as part of the report.
Get additional reports if needed
Since the basic report doesn’t cover every detail (e.g. termite infestation), you may need to hire another specialist. The standard report might not include fire hazards, damp proofing, gas fittings, draining, plumbing, pest infestation, and electrical wiring because it focuses more on visual inspections. If you think you need a more thorough inspection, don’t hesitate to hire another specialist so you can identify and fix problems as soon as possible.
Request a special-purpose report for cost estimates
The standard report, although a part of the paperwork you’ll have to get before buying a home, can’t be used as basis when computing or estimating repair costs. If you need a report to support cost estimates, get a special-purpose report. This report is more comprehensive and detailed compared to the standard one, and is focused more on a specific area (ex: electrical wiring).
Request a building inspection report as early as possible
Most property inspectors need a 2-day or 3-day notice to do an actual inspection, so book days before your ideal day for inspection. It’s also important that you order the report as early as possible, ideally during the negotiation. This way, you’ll have all the information you need before you make a decision and sign the contract.
Armed with a building inspection report, it’ll be easier for you to make the right decision when buying a house. Since this could be one of the biggest investments you’ll make, you’ll want to make sure that the house you’re buying is free from damage that could cost you lots of money in repairs.
Words by Katrina Daez