What Homeowners Needs to Know About a Pre-purchase Building Inspection

Before buying any home, an inspection is typically done. In many areas this is a legal requirement, but even if not, a lender may require it. This is to ensure that the home is structurally sound and that everything is built up to local government codes.

Unfortunately many first-time homebuyers don't realise what is, and what is not, included in that pre-purchase building inspection. They may only assume that an inspector will look at and evaluate all aspects of a home, even telling them if it's worth the purchase price. If you've never had a pre-purchase building inspection done, note a few factors to keep in mind about the process.

1. Know what is up to code.

A building inspection is done to ensure that the building is up to local codes, but as a potential buyer, you need to understand what is covered by those codes. Those codes will usually include inspecting the structure of the home, including the foundation and roof, as well as plumbing and electrical systems.

Note, inspecting the structure of a home may not include aesthetics, such as the condition of the tiles used on the floors or the age of the carpeting, or broken items that are not included in building codes, such as ripped screens in the windows or a screen door that doesn't close. Don't assume that a building inspection will include checking every detail of a home you might want to purchase, but understand what will actually be checked by an inspector.

Since a standard pre-purchase inspection is not going to include every detail of the home's condition, you might want to consider additional inspections. These may include inspecting for mold, asbestos or for pest infestation.

2. Know the value of the home.

A building inspection will not tell you the value of a home, but you can use it to help you determine if you're offering the right price for it. As an example, if a building inspection notes major leaks to the roof, you may know to lower your price to accommodate those repairs. However, if the inspections notes that the roof is brand new, the foundation has recently been underpinned for added strength, and the plumbing has been upgraded, then you may know that the buyer is asking a fair price for the home and it may be worth the investment or purchase.

The inspection may not be able to give you a value on the home in terms of actual figures, but the information it offers as to the home's condition can be just as useful. Learn more about what is and isn't included in an inspection by contacting inspectors like Safe House Property Consultants.


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