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How do I get a home inspection before I buy a home in Australia


Part 1. 8 Questions about Home Inspection in Australia

1. Is a Building Inspection required?
When buying a house in Australia, especially old houses, townhouses, and units, buyers are basically required to do a building Inspection.

2. When should I have a building inspection?
For private sale, after the offer is accepted or the sale and purchase agreement comes into effect, you will contact the Building Inspector immediately. Inspectors also need time to arrange their schedules.
In an auction, the buyer who wins the bid has to fulfill the terms of the contract unconditionally, so Any construction issues with the house after the auction will just have to be accepted. If you feel it is necessary, you will need to arrange for a Building Inspection before the auction.

3. How much does it cost to have a building inspection?
Usually around A$300-500, although the price will vary depending on the size of the house. Of course, the price will be different depending on the size of the house. Some big companies will be more expensive.

4. How long will the whole process of home inspection take?
It usually takes 1-2 hours.

5. How do I know the results of the home inspection?
Generally, after the Building Inspector has done the inspection, he will immediately call and communicate with the buyer, explaining the general condition of the home and the main issues to be concerned about. In the case of a Private Sale, there may be questions as to whether or not to proceed with the contract. A written report will be sent to the buyer's address at a later date.

6. When can I expect to receive a detailed report of the home inspection?
Depending on the Building Inspector's specific conditions, generally 1-2 weeks.

7. The housing inspection report is very long and I don't understand what to do?
You can contact the Building Inspector for an explanation of the problem and an initial solution.

8. Can I cancel the contract if there is a problem with the Building Inspection?
You may be able to terminate your contract if you have a Subject Building Inspection clause in your contract.
There are two general scenarios for this clause:

A. the contract guarantees the buyer's satisfaction, then as long as the buyer points out the dissatisfaction, the contract can be terminated.
B. The contract can only be terminated if there is a "Major Construction" problem in the building. In this case, if the buyer's Building Inspector confirms that there is a "Major" problem, but the seller does not agree, it will be more difficult and the court will have to decide.


Part 2. The Golden Rules of Home Inspection in Australia

Spending $500 or more on a home inspection report before you buy a home may not be worth the high price you might think, but By the time the problem is discovered, you'll probably lose even more money.

The Golden Rules:

  • Qualifications

The report should preferably be completed by a qualified home inspector, surveyor or architect who is insured against loss. The housing consultant must be licensed/permitted under the Housing and Construction Act of 1989.

  • Participate in the inspection

In addition to getting a written inspection report, you can also participate in their inspection work to get immediate recommendations, such as the approximate amount of money needed for a renovation, and you can adjust your bid based on that recommendation.

  • Shop around

The average price for a simple home inspection report is $500, but a combined home construction and pest report is only $340-$600.

  • What's included in the report

Everything from minor to structural issues should be included in the report. For example, inspection results for electrical outlets, utilities, door locks, windows, walls, floors, ceilings and balconies, plumbing and drainage inspections should be included. The report should also include issues such as chandelier spaces and damp floors.

  • What's not included in the report

In Melbourne, the general contract indicates that the inspector will not remove small carpets, personal items, insulation, appliances, plants or discarded items.


Part 3. Five Home Inspections to Do Before Buying a Home

There is nothing more enjoyable than finding a property that fits your budget and your desire. It is important to remember that even the most beautiful looking properties have some hidden problems and repairs can be costly.

1. Ground subsidence
Sagging is common in new construction and on properties built on active soils and in areas that are chronically dry. Usually over time, the house will sag a bit. However, more substantial subsidence will damage the foundation, frame, or other structures of the house.

2. Ceiling water stain
Leaking ceilings are a serious problem that must be addressed immediately. Buyers should check the ceiling for water stains - or if there is any paint to cover up the water stains.

In Australia, these wood-eating insects cause millions of dollars worth of damage to wooden frames, floors and piles every year.

4. Asbestos sheet
Many homes in the 1980's had asbestos eaves or asbestos sheeting on kitchen and bathroom floors and under tiles. The best way to check was to tap the surface - if it made a sound like hardened glass, then it was probably asbestos sheeting.

5. Wire
Buyers should check the fuse box to see if a safety switch and circuit breaker have been recently installed to prevent a short circuit or electrical leakage.

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