A pre-purchase building inspection is optional in theory but Building Inspection Council has observed catastrophic consequences of skipping pre-purchase building inspection and would highly recommend one before making the final decision. Here are 5 things a buyer should be aware of about the pre-purchase building inspection.

1. What is Pre Purchase Building Inspection?

In very simple words, a pre-purchase building inspection is a building inspection done just before purchasing the property. The inspection is done either before the exchange of contracts or after signing the contract with the condition “Subject to building inspection“. It is a safety net and reveals a list of visual defects, hidden defects, intentionally concealed defects, and future threats to the property. The pre-purchase building inspection helps the buyer to make an informed and confident decision about the purchase.

2. What are the benefits of pre-purchase home inspection?

A pre-purchase building inspection reveals the true condition of the property to the potential buyer of the property. The building inspector goes through every inch of the property and records any major or minor building defects. Following are the benefits of pre-purchase building inspection:

  1. Learn about the property: A pre-purchase building inspection tells you the true condition of the property under fresh plaster and paints. Vendors go to any extent to hide the defects which can cost you dearly. A qualified building inspector is skilled to detect hidden defects also and inform you about the true condition of the property.
  2. Learn about fatal risks: There could be building defects in the property which could be fatal for your family such as faulty fire safety, structural damage, etc. The building inspector recognizes these faults and informs you in the report.
  3. Learn about the health risks: Many properties have been found to contain mold, water damage, electrical fault, chemical, asbestos which could affect the health of your family. A pre-purchase building inspection helps you to learn about these in time.
  4. Alert about costly defects: With time, buildings do develop defects. Most of these defects are just normal wear and tear. But some defects could be quite costly to repair such as structural defects, building movement, termite, water damage, etc. The pre-purchase inspection warns you about these problems.

3. How much does pre-purchase building inspection cost?

Building Inspection QuotesThe average cost of pre-purchase building inspection for an average size house (3-4 bedroom house) is between $400 and $600. The cost of the pre-purchase building inspection depends upon the size, style, age, location, and type of the house.  

The price is directly proportional to the size of the property. The bigger the house, takes more time for the inspection and hence more cost. Older properties tend to develop few more building defects due to wear and tear. An inspector has to spend more time to record these defects which pushes the price up. Style and type of houses influence the price cause of the different levels of complexity. A tin roof is much easier to inspect as compare to a tile roof. Similarly, complex designed houses take much more time than simple single-story houses.

So different factors do influence the inspection price but as a thumb rule, the average price falls between $400 and $600.  (Read ” How Much Building Inspection Cost?” for more information about cost of inspection)

4. What is covered in pre-purchase home inspection?

A standard pre-purchase building inspection assesses the condition of the property. It is a visual inspection of the property to point out any building defect of accessible parts of the property. The inspector will look for water damage, cracks in internal and external walls, uneven floors, the presence of pests, rust, and structural damage to the property. The building inspector covers the following area of the property:

  • Property Site: The are the parts that are external to the main building and not attached to it.
  • The exterior of the building: These are sections of the property that are external to the property but attached to it.
  • Interior of the building: This is inside of the main building.
  • The exterior of the roof: Top and visible part of the roof
  • Interior of the roof: Inside roof also known as attic or roof cavity
  • Footings: Surface under the floor with access to footings

Having said that, the scope of the inspection depends upon the mutual consent between client and inspector. Read “What Is Covered In The Building Inspection?” for more information on the inclusion on the inspection.

5. How to order a pre-purchase home inspection?

This is most important aspect out of 5 things about pre-purchase building inspection. The building inspectors will need 2-3 days’ notice to do the inspection. The building inspection should be done before signing the contract or there must be a “subject to building inspection clause” in the contract.

You should do your research and make a list of building inspectors available in your area.  You should assess the building inspectors based on experience, license, and qualification and shortlist the top contenders. You should request quotes from multiple inspectors and finalize the one suitable to your requirement. Once the inspector is finalized, arrange the inspection schedule with the vendor and agent. This could tricky task especially if the property is currently occupied. Building Inspection Council recommends being present at the time of inspection. It gives you first-hand information about the condition of the property rather than depending on the content of the report. Once you receive the report, discuss it with the inspector for further clarification and make a final decision about the property.  For detailed information, read “HOW TO GET BUILDING INSPECTION? “.

Inspecting Cracks - Building Inspection CouncilA pre-purchase building inspection is the last pit stop before making the final decision about the property. It provides the necessary information about the defects in the property that could be expensive to repair and leave the property unsafe for living.

5 things about pre-purchase building inspection puts the light on its importance. Building Inspection Council is a not-for-profit community service that helps property buyers in Australia. The organization provides free quotes from pre-verified local building inspectors. Property buyers save $104.7 on average as compare to the market price and get the best service. The best thing about being a not-for-profit organization is that we do not have to compromise for profit and you get the most honest and genuine quotes. CLICK HERE FOR FREE QUOTES>>