Can property buyers afford a pre purchase building inspection in Adelaide

Can property buyers afford a pre purchase building inspection in Adelaide

I think you would all agree the question should be, can property buyers afford NOT to get a building inspection in Adelaide ? It’s a scary fact, but many home buyers in Adelaide simply neglect to get a building inspection prior to purchase. They prefer to run the gauntlet and hope that everything will magically be alright with a house that they essentially know very little about in most cases.

In the following example, a pre purchase building and pest inspection in the Adelaide suburb of Seaford Rise was able to expose some important and potentially expensive issues. Although these issues may not necessarily mean a buyer should definitely cool off on a property, they are issues that a new house owner would appreciate knowing about to at least give them the information to make an educated choice.

Prevention against receiving unpleasant surprises after committing to a property and moving in is one of the main reasons for getting a building inspection carried out.

Council building inspections not carried out

First appearances of this property built in the early 70’s were quite good. An extension and renovation had been conducted, possibly 20 years ago. However, on examination it became clear that these works were of dubious quality. It was highly likely that the extension was an unapproved structure, and that the local council probably had not conducted any inspection to ensure it met with their requirements and standards.

This situation can have far reaching consequences for the unsuspecting new buyer. If the local council planning department were to find out, they could enforce the new owner to have plans drawn up, an expensive exercise in itself, and the structure brought up to standard. If this is not complied with, this government department can authorise the owner to take down the unapproved building structures. A potentially devastating and costly decision to say the least.

How will the council building and planning department ever know?

You are entitled to ask the question, how would the council authorities find out about this in the first place? Apart from the fact that you may not have any idea about the friendliness of your new neighbours, you may want to do some extension / addition construction yourself in the future. Simple building structures such as pergolas and decks require council approval, and it is during the inspection of these that previous misdemeanors can be exposed.

When a building that we have been engaged to inspect appears to have had an extension or an addition, and this may include pergolas, awnings, decking, additional living areas etc., we always recommend the purchaser contact the local council to ensure that the new structures have been approved and inspected as required. Although this can mean a bit of extra leg work, the trouble is well worth the effort to avoid any of the hassles mentioned above.

It goes without saying that this advice was well received by our client. He was starting to see this property in a very different light.

Unfortunately, that’s not all folks…

This property, including the extension itself, performed quite poorly in many of its components. The exterior walls of the extension were clad with fibre cement weatherboards and a number of defects were identified. Corner flashing was either loose or missing, and flashing between the window and door frames was not installed at all. Holes from previous fixings and cracked or damaged weatherboards were observed to the baseboards and below the air conditioning penetration. All these situations can allow water from rainfall or other sources to penetrate into the building and cause potential wet rot decay to the timber wall frame studs, bottom plates and to the interior wall linings and skirtings. Sounds nasty, but these defects in themselves are not massive and easily fixable by a licensed builder, however, left unattended the structural consequences will be inevitable.

When you are buying a new house, why would you want to purchase pre-existing building defects? Over the years, a house has the knack of quite happily providing you with enough ongoing issues all by itself without inheriting needless ones before you move in.

Maybe you can ignore building defects and address the issues later on….wrong!

This sort of attitude can come back and bite a new home owner. For example, it doesn’t take long for wet rot decay to develop, an entry point, moisture, some warmth and bingo, the makings of timber rot and expensive repairs. When issues are identified by a building inspection, don’t hesitate to get them rectified as soon as possible. Failure to act upon any recommendations by a building inspector is not wise and opens up a new purchaser to unexpected additional financial stresses, including the worrisome job of locating and organising suitable and reliable tradesman to conduct the repairs.

One area of concern that can end up being very costly and damaging to surrounding structural components is a leaking shower recess, particularly when flooring to adjacent rooms is of timber construction. This bathroom renovation was not very recent and again the quality of its workmanship was not of the highest standard. Visually it looked fine, look closer and the story is different.

Instrumentation such as a moisture meter that is a standard tool for any good building inspector is invaluable to determine if shower recesses are possibly leaking. Leakage is usually the result of the breakdown of flexible sealant within the tiled wall joints, or the lack thereof, cracked tiles or simply poor grouting that is loose or missing. Another logical reason is simply a plumbing leak. In these cases, repairs and rectification by a licensed professional tiler and or a plumber is required to prevent ongoing moisture damage to walls and flooring.

It wasn’t however all bad news for this property, there were some great redeeming features, the least of which was no significant cracking was observed to the exterior brick walls. In most cases this can indicate that the footings are quite sound and movement within the building has been limited over the years.

Why take risks when buying that dream home. For specialists providing Pre purchase building inspections in Adelaide to give you that all important peace of mind with your new property, call Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections  now on 0451 070 398.