One of the hidden costs of buying a house is paying for a building inspector to give a report that confirms the property’s structural soundness and identifies any defects.
You may have your eye on a certain home that looks like it only needs minor repairs, maybe a paint job and some small upgrades.
However, it’s important to have a building inspector take a more thorough look at the property before you sign any contracts.
Building inspections should be done by a licensed professional who can check things such as whether extensions, plumbing, wiring, driveways etc. meet Australian standards.
In the Sydney metropolitan area, a building inspection can cost as high as $800 to $1000, potentially more depending on the size of the property.
In more regional areas, it could cost significantly less at around $300 for an average sized 3-bedroom home.
The extra cost just to give your property a once over might seem unnecessary, however, a building inspection should be a top priority when looking to buy a property in Sydney.
Getting a pre-purchase building inspection might reveal hidden repair issues that influence whether or not it’s worthwhile to buy a particular property.
There could be sticking doors or windows that indicate a sinking foundation or an illegal extension that could end up costing you thousands of dollars to fix.
For example, installing structures like balconies or patios in New South Wales requires them to meet the state-specific development standards.
Aside from potentially violating state policy, skipping over a building inspection could also land you in a dangerous situation.
For instance, faulty electrical wiring, asbestos or other dangerous materials, and structural issues are all potentially hidden safety concerns that might not otherwise be uncovered.
Once you’re aware of any potential problems, you’ll have a better idea of how much repairs would cost, giving you more bargaining power.
If you end up finding problems that need to be fixed, there are a few things to consider that are specific to hiring a builder or tradesperson in New South Wales.
If the work that needs to be done is valued over $5,000, the builder or tradesperson has to be licensed with NSW Fair Trading and provide you with a written contract.
For any jobs that cost more than $20,000, unless exemptions apply, builders and tradespeople are required to give you a copy of the Home Building Compensation Fund certificate before taking a deposit or starting the work.
You might also want to consider having your property inspected if you’re looking to sell your home.
This way, you can fix any problems before potential buyers start looking into your property.
Once all issues are resolved, your building inspector can provide a report for your house, making your property more appealing on the market.
Ultimately, a building inspection is definitely a must if you’re looking to purchase a property in Sydney or anywhere else in Australia.
If you’re looking to sell your home in Sydney, getting a building inspection done will prove to save time for prospective buyers, potentially making the selling process faster.
Guest author: James Pointon is a Commercial Manager at OpenAgent.com.au, an online agent comparison website helping Australians to sell, buy and own property.