Buying your first home is one of life's most impactful milestones. The transition from renter to homeowner is a significant change which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Before purchasing a property, it's vital that you have the appropriate pre-purchase inspections completed before committing to becoming the owner.
This is true of all property purchases but as a first-time buyer, it's particularly important. There are enough challenges to becoming a property owner without the added complication and expense of hidden problems that weren't identified before the sales contract becomes unconditional. Here are the two pre-purchase inspections that you'll need to organise.
1. Building inspection
A building inspection is completed by an independent and certified building inspector. The primary purpose of this inspection is to check the quality of the building's construction and to identify any structural problems that could make the home unsafe to live in.
The building inspector will also alert you to any major concerns about the condition of different elements of the home's structure. This includes the roof and gutters, foundations, plumbing and electrical system. They will then provide you with a report based on their findings.
A building inspection report that turns up one or more issues with the property doesn't necessarily mean that you need to abort the sales process. Some things may only require a small amount of work and expense, and you may be able to negotiate with the vendor to have it completed before the contract goes unconditional.
If there are major and very costly problems, then you're in a position to pull out of the contract without penalty. Alternatively, you can approach the vendor with a lower offer that reflects the financial outlay involved in correcting major structural or construction faults.
2. Pest inspection
The other vital inspection you'll to organise is a pest inspection. The purpose of this is to identify any insect or rodent infestations that can be harmful to the structure of the building or the health and safety of the occupants.
One of the main problems that are found during pest inspections is a termite infestation. These small but destructive ants feed on timber and can effectively eat away the timber components of a home.
This inspection is important even if your home has a steel frame. It's also vital to have the gardens inspected because termites who have established a colony in a fence or tree will soon move into your home as the colony grows.
Identifying them and establishing the scope of an infestation is something you need to know before the structure and upkeep of a property become your responsibility. If termites are found, you can request that they are eradicated, adjust your offer accordingly or pull out of the sale entirely.