Why is Pest Inspection Important Before Buying a House?

It is important to have a pre-purchase inspection before you buy a home. This “health check” will make sure you are purchasing a home that is in good condition, with no hidden defects that can potentially cost a lot to fix.

A pre-purchase inspection is even more important in Australia, where 1 in 3 homes are said to have had a prior termite infestation and 1 in 5 homes are likely to be attacked by termites within the first 5 years.

What is a pre-purchase inspection?

A pre-purchase inspection is when a building inspector comes in to visually check the accessible areas inside and outside of a home. These areas include walls, ceilings, floors, roof, foundation, structure, and more.

  • Here are the things that are included in a pre-purchase inspection report:
  • Comprehensive observations on the condition of the home
  • Specifics on any defects, necessary repairs, potential water penetration, presence of mould, suspicious stench, etc.
  • Photos of the various areas of the property

Why do you need a pre-purchase inspection?

Before you become serious about buying a house, you need to know the current state it is in, whether there are hidden defects that need to be addressed in the future. A lot of money is involved in investing in a home, so you need to know exactly what you’re getting. A pre-purchase home inspection gives you the assurance that you’re buying a quality home.

If you do decide to skip a pre-purchase home inspection, be aware that you may encounter problems with finalising your home finance. For example, your bank may ask for proof of the quality of the property before approving your mortgage.

Your insurance company may also refuse to pay for claims you may file that relate to repairing damages in your property, if you can’t produce a pre-purchase inspection report.

In the end, trying to save a few hundred dollars by eschewing a pre-purchase home inspection may cost you thousands of dollars in repairs that you may need to pay yourself.

What other pre-purchase inspection you need when buying a home?

In addition to a pre-purchase home inspection, there are other types of inspections that you may need to have done before making a purchasing decision.

Pest Inspection. While a building inspector will include any visible damage caused by pests like termites, the report will not include information on whether the pests are still there. You will need a pest inspection for this, especially if you are buying in an area that is prone to termite attacks.

Pre-purchase electrical inspections. If an electrical inspection is not included in the pre-purchase building inspection, you may consider hiring a licensed electrician to conduct one. It will help identify any electrical problems in the property.

Asbestos inspection. Asbestos was common in houses built in the 1960s and 1970s. It can cause health problems if it becomes loose, gets into the air and inhaled by people.

A building inspection will not verify the presence of loose-filled asbestos and it cannot be detected by visual inspection alone. The only way to detect loose-filled asbestos is by hiring a qualified asbestos assessor.

Swimming pools. If the home you’re interested in comes with a swimming pool, have a licensed inspector come in and determine whether it is fenced and meets state requirements relating to pools

What is the difference between a pre-purchase building inspection and a pre-purchase pest inspection?

Aside from the different types of pre-purchase inspections mentioned above, there are two types of pre-purchase inspections that can be done by building inspectors: Pre-Purchase Building Inspections and Pre-Purchase Pest or Termite Inspections.

What are the differences between these two types of inspections?

Pre-Purchase Building Inspections. This inspection, done by a building inspector, involves checking the structural condition of a property. It includes assessing the plumbing, electrical and roofing systems.

Pre-Purchase Pest or Termite Inspection. This involves checking for signs of termites or other pests in the wooden parts of a property. A licensed inspector can identify areas of the property that are vulnerable to pest attacks.

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Advantages of a pre-purchase inspection

Buildings inspections are not just for the benefit of buyers. For home sellers, they gain the assurance that their property is in good condition and ready and safe to be lived in any time.

Sellers would want to avoid the discovery of defects during the sale process as this can cause delays, additional expenses and can even ruin negotiations.

As for you, the home buyer, a pre-purchase home inspection will help you decide whether a property is worth its asking price or whether it is worth purchasing at all. It lets you know if the property has defects, saving you thousands of dollars of future repairs.

Checklist for home inspection

It is important to understand the job of a home inspector, so you know the questions to ask about the condition of the house and help you determine whether they are doing what they’re supposed to.

Here are the areas that an inspector will check in a property:

  • Grounds and exterior structure
  • Basement
  • Attic
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchen
  • Interior Rooms
  • Electrical Systems
  • Heating and Cooling Systems
  • Plumbing

You want to make sure that these areas are not hiding any flaws, so you won’t be surprised after you have already moved. With a pre-purchase home inspection, you can lower the risks of future repairs and get the information you need to make the right decision.

Who should inspect your potential home?

In Queensland, the law states that the person that conducts an inspection must be trained, qualified and licensed as a builder.

With so many building inspectors, it is a good idea to do some research before hiring one. Here are some of the things to look for in your candidates:

The type of insurance they have in place. Ask if their insurance cover you if they damage something in the house or gets injured while conducting the inspection.

Money back guarantee. Choose an inspector that offers a 100% money back guarantee, in case something goes wrong with the inspection, or you’re not satisfied with their job.

The areas covered in their inspection. Some inspectors will not inspect the whole property. A proper pre-purchase inspection should cover every area of the property.

Efficient service. Speed and efficiency are vital for home inspections. To know whether a home inspector is efficient or not, look for testimonials and customer feedbacks about them.

Ask for a sample report. A sample of their work will help you determine whether they have the requirements that you’re looking for in a home inspector.

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How long does a building inspection take?

In general, a pre-purchase building inspection shouldn’t take more than two hours, though there are some that will require a few days to complete their work. To get a definite answer, ask your prospective inspectors about this.

Once the inspection is completed, a written report of their findings will be provided to you. Some inspectors send the report within 24 hours of the inspection, while others take a few days.

If the inspection uncovers any defect, it is advisable that you get a more detailed evaluation from the expert on the issue, such as plumber or an electrician, before making a final decision.

If you’ve already picked a property that you want to buy, don’t hesitate to commission a pre-purchase home inspection. It is an important aspect of the home buying process as it could save you from future repair-related problems and give you a full picture of the house you’re planning to purchase.

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