Buying a house is an exciting time, but you need to make sure you select the right one as you’ll be stuck with it for years to come. There are many steps to follow before you can call yourself a homeowner, but if you’re tempted to skip any that don’t seem necessary (such as a pre-purchase pest and building inspection) you could pay for it dearly, as many who have done so have had to shell over significant amounts of money on termite baiting systems for their Mermaid Waters homes, when the problem could easily have been detected before purchase.
INSPECTING FOR TERMITES
Judging a home based on its appearance is a good idea as you need to like the way it looks. However, looks aren’t everything and just because a place looks ‘normal’ on the outside doesn’t mean it is. The property’s current owners might not even be aware of any problems at that point. Termites are common pests that can cause invisible damage to a home, which means that by the time it’s noticed, very expensive repairs are required in addition to pest removal. It’s estimated that termite infestations are responsible for damaging 180,000 homes in Queensland alone very year, causing damage in the excess of $700 million.
IS MY POTENTIAL PURCHASE AT RISK?
Some experts believe that homes built between 1995 and 2002 are at risk of harbouring termites under their slabs, as this was when harsh chemical treatments where phased out in favour of more natural ones thought to be safer for the environment.
In this famous case, the homeowner did get a pre-purchase inspection, but it wasn’t comprehensive enough and didn’t look beneath the house or at the roof void. By the time he had already purchased the house, over $100,000 in damage was discovered. As his inspection company wasn’t insured, he had to carry this cost himself.
HOW CAN AN INSPECTION SAVE ME MONEY?
A pre-purchase pest and building inspection will prevent you from investing in a property that requires expensive repairs or removals. If you’ve fallen in love with a home or the damage isn’t as significant, you could use this information to knock thousands off the selling price, getting you the home you want for less.
As you can see, paying for a pre-purchase inspection is a small price to pay!