We’ve all heard a few house inspection ‘horror stories’ – the tales of woe told from buyers who decided to cut corners and skip a crucial step in the purchase process. It can be tempting to avoid ordering a building and pest inspection on your potential new home, especially if you’re trying to save money, but you may end up paying a much higher price down the track!
To make the most of your building inspection, it also pays to keep an eye out for any barriers that might prevent an inspector from seeing what truly lies behind that fresh paint job and fancy furniture.
Here’s our guide to 5 things to watch out for before your building inspector arrives!
House inspection red flags – what to look for
While most sellers are honest, professional building inspectors often see cases where home owners or agents try to conceal faults prior to sale. It may not even be deliberate, but when sellers leave garage doors locked or a lot of debris in the garden, it’s impossible for an inspector to tick all the boxes on a visual inspection. Here are some red flags to watch out for that will save you money, time and heartache in the long run.
1. Utility check – flickering lights
Has the previous owner let a utility connection lapse? It sounds reasonable on the surface: they’re not living there so it makes sense to have the power shut off. However, the lack of utility connection prevents your accredited house inspection specialist from being able to check that all lights and appliances are functioning properly.
2. Accessibility – so many locked doors
Your house inspection will involve a slow, careful check of all areas. Unfortunately, dodgy sellers may attempt to bamboozle unsuspecting purchasers by obscuring problematic areas. Are there carefully positioned paintings and clutter? Is there a suspiciously overgrown shrub that’s hiding some nasties? Loose panels disguised by the branches of a tree? Unsafe handrails on stairs masked by a carefully placed pot plant holding it up on the other side?
House inspections have uncovered all sorts of sneaky tricks designed to catch you out! Be sure you ask your sellers to provide maximum, clear access to all areas for your inspector.
3. A shady history – a troubled past
When you did your walk throughs, did you notice anything that felt ‘not quite right’? Hear any mysterious sounds that you couldn’t quite place? House inspections will pick up on whether the previous owner was a little too enthusiastic with the power tools. Extensions that are not approved by the council are illegal and, therefore, are not covered by insurance.
DIY plumbing and electrical work can be dangerous, unsightly and cause frustrating noises, like water hammer. Consider the untold risks you could be exposing your family to by rushing through such an important check!
Placing a home inspection booking will mean that you have someone skilled in casting a critical eye over situations. It’s like having your very own detective on the case.
4. Flood map checks – water damage
We were all touched, one way or another, by the Queensland floods of 2011. They impacted our homes, our livelihoods and the way we think about property.
Unfortunately, a lot of building inspection companies tend to rush through the process of checking flood maps. You’ll be told all about levels and historical flood events, and all the buzz words they think you want to hear, but you won’t get clarity. You won’t get the kind of peace of mind that a detailed allotment inspection can offer. Do your checks ahead of time and, if you think there is any risk of your property being in a flood zone, insist on accessing official data.
5. Estate agent behaviour – suspicious minds
On your various walk throughs and conversations with the real estate agent, did you ever feel rushed? Talked over? Peppered with promises and buzz words and excited hand gestures but not given much in the way of real substance?
Some real estate agents are so focused on clinching that commission that they’re willing to gloss over problematic aspects of the properties they’re trying to push. While that won’t impact them after the sale is finalised, it will certainly continue to impact you and your family for years to come. Don’t let anyone rush you into a decision – and don’t let an agent try to rush your building and pest inspection either.
Don’t take a risk on your investment
When you employ Action Property Inspections to perform your house inspection, you’re investing in your own future.
Our inspections are thorough. We specialise in pre-purchase building inspections throughout the Greater Brisbane area. We guarantee that we won’t delay your dream – we deliver our reports the same day that the inspection is conducted.
Our independence from real estate agents and our long-standing industry experience mean that we’re a company you can trust. We’ll protect you from the monsters under the bed and the ghosts in the attic. Ongoing phone support after the report is delivered means that we’ll keep working with you to guide you through the process instead of leaving you stranded and alone. If you need further details or advice on repairs, we’re here to help.
Our fast quote policy means you’ll be provided with a reasonable and ethical fee. We accept that this will be a big investment on your behalf at a time when you want to put your money towards purchasing that little house of your dreams, so we’ll make sure our house inspection fees are transparent.
Importantly, we can also talk you through all the things to watch out for before our booked appointment, so that we can do the most thorough job possible on your behalf.
If you are concerned about the process and want to know more, you can call 1800 642 465 or (07) 3201 2666 and our friendly team will be able to answer any questions.