How a Property Inspection Can Save You Money

August 31, 2017 By

Picture this: after many months of searching, you finally find it – the perfect home.

It’s in a fantastic location and the price is affordable. In your mind’s eye you can see where your furniture will go, the wall you’ll knockout and the café down the street where you’ll read the Sunday paper every weekend.

It’s definitely ‘the one’.

The real estate agent tells you that the vendor is seriously considering someone else’s offer, so you make an offer too, emphasising it’s conditional to a pre-purchase property inspection.

The agent then informs you that your offer matches that of the other party’s and both have been accepted – whoever is first to exchange on the property will win it. The race is on.

A building inspection is something you know is important, but you also know it’ll take a few days to turnaround – what if the other party exchanges before then? The temptation to forgo the inspection swells in your mind.

You rationalise: I could take the risk, and if I discover any damage after I’ve bought it, I’ll wear it – at least the property will be mine. And inspections cost money – it’s an extra expense I could really do without right now.

Besides, there’re no obvious signs of damage, no apparent reason it’s nothing other than a fantastic home and a lucrative investment.

The truth is, without a property inspection, you’ll never really know if it is any of those things.

Looks can be deceiving

When it comes to property, looks can truly be deceiving. The home of your dreams could in actuality be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And if it is indeed a wolf, it could devour thousands of dollars.

And when you try to sell it, buyers who conduct an inspection will uncover all the issues that would’ve steered you clear of the property had you conducted a thorough building inspection.

Unseen Issues

Unseen issues, such as:

  • a leaking ceiling, faulty hot water cylinder
  • in-wall dampness
  • rotting floorboards

… (to name but a few) – could cost you thousands of dollars to repair. So too could pest infestations. Not all building inspectors will include a pest inspection as part of their service, so it’s important to find out if they do.

If not, source a certified pest inspector to conduct a thorough examination of the property. Termites might be small, but they can cost large sums of money to eradicate.

To get an idea of what a property inspection will involve – which, in all likelihood, will also stress its importance – visit your state government’s Fair Trading website.  The property’s interior and exterior, rooftop and under-floor space – an accredited inspector will examine all these things and more.

Inspection for Negotiation

A property inspection can also be used as a negotiation tool. When trying to reduce the asking price, calling to attention any faults can be a key move in the negotiation game of chess.

It will help inform your offer and help reduce the asking price. The inspection may cost you a few hundred dollars, but it could help you knockoff a few thousand from the asking price (unless you’re going to auction).

Chances are you will commission more than one property report during the house hunting process, so it’s worthwhile factoring this into your budget.

If you’re going to auction, it’s a good idea to allow plenty of time to have the report completed. Even though you’re not assured of winning the auction, so getting a report done could be considered money wasted, but the alternative of not getting one done could be far more costly.

Digging beneath the property’s surface is of utmost importance during the house hunt process

Stay Focused

No matter how emotionally attached you may get to a prospective property, no matter what the situation in terms of market competition, to not obtain a property inspection prior to settlement simply isn’t worth the risk in most cases.

Many of us know that already, but when you’re in the throes of finding a place after months of searching, it’s a rule that can be easily overlooked.

Ask yourself: would you rather purchase a place that could financially wound you, or miss out because you took the time to conduct a thorough inspection? Digging beneath the property’s surface is of utmost importance during the house hunt process. Only then will you likely know the property is “the one”.

Credit: Could a property inspection save you thousands?