A building inspection is a must on your pre-purchase checklist and your overall budget. A building inspection will not only help you make a more informed purchase; it will also save you more money in the long run and give you peace of mind. How much should you expect to shell out for a building inspection? And what exactly are the advantages of paying for one?
Prior to closing the sale on a property, dot the Is and cross the Ts to make sure your dream house does not have any costly surprises that will and might pop out after you’ve already moved your family in. A properly conducted building inspection will reveal any of the following:
- Structural defects; risks for future damage; and/or unapproved alterations or additions to the property;
- General condition of the property’s roof space and ceilings; walls; doors and windows; wiring; plumbing and guttering; and HVAC system, among others;
- Whether or not the property is under any financial or legal issues;
- Whether or not the building meets safety requirements and local guidelines, and conforms to the building plan as registered;
- The presence of asbestos, for properties built before 1985;
- The presence of and damage done by pests – this is usually a different kind of inspection and done separately.
How much will you have to shell out for a building inspection? The cost will depend on a number of factors, including size of the property; complexity of the structure; and property location. For example, a small property in a regional area will cost about $100 to $300. A standard 4-bedroom house will cost about $500; the same house in the metropolitan area, however, will cost up to $1000. And the more complex the structure, the harder it will be to conduct a thorough inspection; this will also affect the total cost of the building inspection.
Trying to save money by foregoing a building inspection could end up costing you more. Hidden defects and undetected damages and risks which will require repairs, sooner or later, will end up being more expensive than if you paid for the building inspection and the necessary repairs early on. And, of course, you will also be putting your family’s comfort and safety on the line.
Paying extra money for a Building inspection can actually help you renegotiate the price of the building, if any damages or other potential problems are revealed. You can also require the seller to include the necessary repairs in your sale agreement; or you can make allowances in your budget for the repairs that need to be taken care of, if you will be shouldering the expenses.
The seller can recommend a few inspectors; or you might also consider finding one yourself. In either case, make sure that the inspector has all the qualifications and licenses needed, as well as extensive knowledge and experience in the industry; being a member of a registered building association would be a big plus. Being able to provide actual reviews from previous clients and being familiar with the locale would also be ideal.
You should not lose sleep over the added cost of a building inspection. But you will definitely lose sleep over the potential problems an uninspected property might have and the bigger financial burden it could cost you in the future.