Arming yourself with enough information about the condition of a property prior to purchase, may end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars down the track, or stop your purchase in its tracks. The best way to protect yourself is to seek a pre-purchase report from a qualified and registered building inspector. It is crucial you obtain specialist advice about issues with the structural well-being of the property and how these issues may affect the property over time.
Here are a few possible defects that may raise their ugly head that you must be informed about prior to making a purchase decision:
It may surprise you to know that cracks will appear in most buildings over time. Cracks may appear as the materials age and the building eventually settles down, conforming to the environment in which it is built; or the expansion joints were not adequately installed by the builder to accommodates this settling down process. In the majority of cases, cracks simply spoil the look of a building and can be easily repaired, however you do not want to assume all is well as there may be something more sinister lurking beneath the surface.
Only an experienced building inspector will be able to tell you if the crack masks a serious structural defect, which may set you up with a series of costly repairs and cause you to withdraw from the contract.
One of the most common defects in a building inspection report is an emergence of damp in wet areas cause by a failure of waterproofing. It is often identified by a breakdown of the wall and tile surfaces. Sometimes a clue may hide in a recently painted wall. Such leaks can be fairly quickly confirmed with the application of a moisture meter to detect how serious the breakdown to the wall membrane is.
Don’t be deceived thinking this could not occur in a new home, as this issue may be identified in new and old homes alike. When identified in a new build, the issue almost always stems from incorrectly installed waterproofing membrane.
One of the biggest issues affecting building safety is electrical defects. Firstly, the age and size of the service must be inspected. Re-wiring and bringing a property’s electrical system up to date can be an exceptionally costly exercise and one you may want to avoid. Problems that may be identified include burned wiring, over fused circuits or inadequately installed wiring.
These issues or simply ancient wiring not brought up to code can be disastrous resulting in a fire hazard and must be avoided.
Be careful of properties where it is obvious that plumbing and electrical work have been undertaken. Be on alert for structural additions and renovations, that appear to not have been professionally done as correcting these defects can cost you thousands of dollars. A professional building inspector will be able to identify these concerns for you, providing you with a thorough pre-purchase report.