First-time home buyer’s guide to property inspections

Purchasing property is one of the most significant financial decisions you will ever make in your life, so it makes sense that it should be an informed decision. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you’re fully aware of the condition of the property.

The best way of avoiding unforeseen problems and extra costs down the track is to get pre-purchase property inspections carried out by fully qualified and licensed professionals. For a relatively small price, you will have peace of mind before dropping hundreds of thousands on your dream home.

Not sure what pre-settlement inspections you need? Here are five inspections that can save you big time in the long run.

Building and pest inspection

Building and pest inspections are the most critical pre-settlement inspections you can get. Some contractors offer packages to conduct both inspections at once; however, we recommend getting your home independently assessed both by builders and pest experts to identify any potential issues accurately.

Building inspections involve a visual inspection of the entire home, both inside and out, to identify any structural faults, defects, maintenance issues and safety hazards.

Pest inspections identify any pest activity, in particular from termites, which may cause internal damage to the property.

These inspections should not only identify faults or defects but also advise on the cost of remediation.

Depending on the results of the building and pest inspection, you may also need more thorough inspections such as plumbing inspections, asbestos surveys and thermal imaging to detect signs of pests.


Land contamination report

Land contamination reports are essential to understand risks to personal health, as well as the value of the land should you wish to sell in the future.

If there is an identified risk of potential contamination in the initial inspection, a further examination should be conducted to determine if contamination present, the type, extent and recommended remediation.

From a personal health perspective, you will want to know:

  • What the nature of the contamination is
  • How stable is the contamination?
  • How you can effectively maintain the contamination
  • What are the potential risks of contamination?
  • What are the costs of maintenance?

From a resale perspective, you will need to consider:

  • Will a future purchaser be concerned about the contamination?
  • Any decrease in property value

Swimming pool inspection

Pools can be a lot of fun to have, but they are expensive to maintain and can pose serious safety hazards.

If you’re buying a property with a pool, you’ll need a pool inspection to evaluate its current and to make sure the surrounding area is up to scratch. Standard building inspections won’t include this, so you will need a separate report from a pool expert.

In the inspection, the contractor will ensure the pool is safe, operational and not in need of any urgent repairs. The inspection will also look at

  • Fences and gates
  • Surfaces around the pool
  • Decking, rails and balustrades
  • Tiling
  • Lighting
  • Any nearby structures

Surveyor’s report

A land survey determines the boundary of the property. This is particularly important if you’re buying an older property or you have plans to build or extend your property in the future, as it can protect you from any future boundary disputes.

The surveyor’s report will determine what features lie on the plot of land you’re purchasing, including:

  • Trees
  • Buildings
  • Fences
  • Walkways
  • Driveways

Pre-settlement inspection

A pre-settlement inspection can often be a quick check of the property, but it’s a vital one. If someone has been living in the property since you bought, it’s your right that everything should be in the same (or better) condition than when you last saw it.

You should inspect the property with your real estate agent a week before settlement to ensure your home is in the same condition as when you first looked at it.

Things you should check include:

  • Lights
  • Plumbing
  • Air conditioners and heaters
  • Doors and locks
  • Appliances
  • Curtains and blinds
  • Windows and glass
  • Smoke alarms
  • General cleanliness

If you notice anything has broken or been left in a worse condition then when you purchased the property, you should contact your conveyancer immediately. They will be able to liaise with the vendor to ensure the required repairs are carried out before settlement, or the sale price is reduced to cover the costs of the repair.

Buying a property? Call East Coast Conveyancing

East Coast Conveyancing can take the stress out of the property buying process for you. We can organise all pre-settlement inspections for you and liaise with the vendor on your behalf. We will keep you up-to-date at all times, ensuring you’re fully aware of any issues before it’s too late.

Contact us today on 1300 327 826 with any questions you have



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