Looking for a new home and considering hiring a home inspector to do your pre-purchase inspection? Buying a home is one of the most important financial commitments you will ever make, so it is important that you take the right steps to choose the right investment to protect yourself against any unforeseen expenses around the house.
Calling in an expert should be included as part of your home buying budget, as without it you run the risk of buying a home that may be hiding serious structural defects.
A pre-purchase property inspection is designed to inform you of any potential lurking hazards or hidden damage the property may have. It’s not uncommon for a DIY builder or renovator to cover damage for the purpose of a sale, so it’s important to choose an inspector who knows the tricks of the trade.
Finding a good home inspector can be a daunting task if you don’t know what to look for and not all home inspectors are the same. Here are 8 things to consider when choosing a home inspector.
1. Are they qualified to be home inspectors?
This may seem like an obvious question, but in South Eastern Australia formal qualifications are not required to conduct a home inspection. This means that anyone with a business card can call himself a “home inspector.”
Take the time to ask your inspector what industry experience he has and how long he has been in business. A typical home inspector is a licensed builder and understands the ins and outs of solid home construction. All licensed builders are assigned a license number and must provide you with this information. If you have any doubts about your credibility, you can check your registration details.
Other reputable qualifications to look for in a home inspector are surveyors and architects.
2. Are they experts in the type of inspection you are looking for?
Not all types of inspection will require the same skill set. A pest inspection will require an expert in pest monitoring and analysis, while a pre-purchase home inspector will be well versed in the construction industry. Finding the right person for the right job is critical to avoid sudden surprises after your sign on the dotted line.
3. Do you offer a comprehensive inspection?
A thorough pre-purchase home inspection can take 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the home and the complexity of the issues. As a general rule of thumb, your inspector should look for:
- Cracks in the wall
- Mold stains and leaks
- Moisture of the cavity
- Leaks, drainage, and general plumbing problems, such as water pressure.
- Work windows
- Electrical faults
- Rusty structure
- Low hanging trees, tree rot, root displacement
- Structural integrity of doors and other external structures, i.e. terraces
- Signs of pest infestation *
- Roof integrity: missing tiles, rust, holes
- Structure of flower beds and retaining walls
This is not an exhaustive list; however, it is a good start.
It is also important to note that for an in-depth analysis of the pests that may be hiding on the property, you will need to obtain a separate pest inspection.
4. Do you offer follow-up support?
Be aware of inspection services that do not allow post-inspection follow-up or charge you extra money to review their findings.
We conduct a post-inspection report with you to walk you through the findings in our report and answer any questions you may have. This usually takes 30 minutes and is our chance to make sure you are happy and clear on all that we have discovered. Our mission is to help you make the right decision when it comes to buying a new home, so we’ll be happy to go over the finer details with you.
5. Are they insured?
When choosing a home inspector, you need to ensure that they are adequately insured. A professional service must have Professional Indemnification, to cover the advice they are offering and Public Liability, to cover any damage caused to a third party or property of a third party.
We have $ 2 million for professional compensation and $ 5 million for public liability.
6. Are you allowed to be on site during the inspection?
A key indicator of an inexperienced home inspector is their hesitancy to allow the customer to be present during an inspection.
When we do a home inspection, we pass the first part of the inspection on our own. This allows us to methodically walk through the house and focus 100% of our energy on the finest details. We invite you to stop by during the last 15 minutes so that we can address any initial concerns you may have or to clarify our findings.
7. The report.
Here at Vital Building Inspection, we offer our clients a same day report and information about your home. We include color photos and unbiased reports to help you in your decision-making process. We call this report “The Decision Maker” and we pride ourselves on its content.
Our report complies with established Australian standards for pre-purchase reporting.
8. How much do they charge?
Remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for?” Well, it certainly applies to the home inspection market. It can be tempting to hire the cheapest inspector on the market; however, it is important to consider the quality and thoroughness of the service offered. Choosing an inspector based solely on price can cut costs and can cost you in the long run.
Our pre-purchase inspections start at $ 450.00 and include evaluation of any visual defects and cover all areas of the home.
The easiest way to avoid unwanted inspection surprises is to choose a trusted, local home inspection service. Book your inspection online today and help us choose your dream home.
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