There is no law that states a buyer or seller of a property must acquire a building or pest inspection, however buyers would be wise to have these checks completed by a reputable building/pest inspector before purchasing a property.
The cost of a building and pest inspection is small when you consider the amount of money you’re investing in your new property. Outlaying a few extra dollars in the beginning will give you peace of mind your new home is structurally sound and safe from termites and won’t turn out to be a money pit rather than an investment in your future.
Building inspections and pest inspections are not one and the same so be sure to ask what you’ll get for your money when shopping around . Some building inspectors will also conduct pest inspections or you may need to hire two different contractors. Building inspectors must be licenced and work according to Australian Standards so be sure to check their credentials. When hiring a building/pest inspector a good starting point is to ask friends and family if they can recommend one they’ve used in the past. Alternatively, conduct some research online to see if anyone in your area is being rated by independent people and sites.
A reputable building/pest inspector will examine all accessible parts of the property – both interior and exterior. Sub floors, ceiling space, roof, walls, garages, carports, granny flats, fences, steps, pathways, driveways should all be checked and documented during the inspection.
A pest inspection will include looking for pest activity in timber and structural frames, joists, rafters, bearers, internal joinery, house externals, landscaping timber along with trees and tree stumps on the property.
The building/pest inspector should take the time to verbally go over what they’ve inspected and what, if anything, they’ve found. Any minor or past damage that is uncovered may not be enough for you to walk away from buying the property, but it may give you bargaining power. If the property requires repairs you can request they’re completed before settlement or negotiate the price down so you can take care of the repairs once you’ve taken ownership.
If your building/pest inspection reveals serious issues such as pest infestation or structural issues you can opt to walk away and continue your search for your dream home.
It’s important to note when you’re putting in an offer to purchase a property you will need to stipulate the purchase is subject to a building and pest inspection report. As the buyer, you can choose your own independent inspection company. The cost for a building/pest inspection usually starts at around $300.