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Your guide to building, pest and strata inspections

By ,| 3 min read

It can seem like there are endless things to organise when you’re in the process of buying a property. There are finances to get in order, settlement dates to coordinate and inspections to arrange.

Inspections are an important part of the home buying and selling process. In this article, we’ll cover what building, pest and strata inspections involve, as well as how much they could cost, when you might need them and why they’re important.

What’s a building inspection and how does it work?

A building inspection is a detailed examination of a property’s condition, conducted by a qualified and licensed builder, architect or surveyor.

The person inspecting the property will usually assess the entire interior of the building, as well as the entire exterior including the roof and other elements like the garage or shed.

Once the inspection is complete, a report is written providing a detailed description of the condition of the property, including any building faults or defects. These can include:

  • Structural damages, like cracks
  • Rising damp and mould
  • Roof holes or defects
  • Asbestos
  • Any other building defects.

A building inspection doesn’t usually cover plumbing or electrical and won’t typically estimate the cost of repairing any damages. Other aspects a building inspection may not include are:

  • Areas outside of the inspector’s expertise
  • Swimming pools
  • Fireplaces and chimneys
  • Security and intercom systems
  • Appliances like dishwashers and ovens
  • Carpet
  • Concealed damp-proofing.

How much does a building inspection cost?

The cost of a building inspection will vary depending on the size of the building, the state or territory you’re in, and whether the building is located in a metropolitan or regional area.

Typically, a building inspection can cost anywhere from around $200-$800.

When would you get a building inspection?

You’ll typically need a building inspection when you’re looking to buy a property or sell your home.

A building inspection can take a few days, so ensure you leave enough time for this to get done, whether you’re buying or selling.

What are the benefits of getting a building inspection?

Benefits for buyers

For buyers, having a building inspection report on a property you intend to buy can make you aware of any existing faults.

This way, you can weigh up whether these are faults you’d be happy to fix (as long as they don’t make the property unsafe) or whether it’s time to pass on the property.

If you’re willing to purchase the property – faults and all – you may be able to use this as a bargaining chip in a private sale to lower the cost of the house because you’ll have to fund the repairs yourself.

Benefits for sellers

If you’re a seller, getting a building inspection done before you put your property on the market can bring any problems with your property to your attention.

Once you’re aware of any issues, you’ll be able to repair them before putting your property up for sale. This can also make a good impression on prospective buyers and potentially increase your property’s value.

Plus, you might be able to sell your home quicker if the buyer is happy with your inspection report and doesn’t need to get their own.

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What’s a pest inspection and how does it work?

A pest inspection is a thorough examination of a property to check for potential pest infestation or pest-related damage.

A pest inspection will typically check for termites, as well as other pests like borers and wood decay fungi.

Much like a building inspection, a pest inspection will examine all the interior and exterior parts of the property, including areas like the roof space, under-floor space and all accessible timber.

They’re done by a licensed professional – usually someone with a diploma of building surveying or building and construction. They might also be an architect, builder or engineer.

How much does a pest inspection cost?

A pest inspection usually costs around $100-$400, depending on the scope of the inspection and whether or not it is bundled with a building inspection.

When would you get a pest inspection?

It’s common to get a pest inspection before purchasing a property and if you’re planning to sell your home.

Similar to a building inspection, a pest inspection can take a couple of days to complete the inspection and write up a report.

What are the benefits of getting a pest inspection?

For buyers, getting a pest inspection can give you the full picture of a property’s condition before you commit your hard-earned cash. It can help you avoid properties with pest damage that could be costly to repair.

Pest inspections can be important for sellers too. If you get a pest inspection done before you put your property on the market and pests are found, rectifying this issue before selling could help boost the sale price of your home.

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What’s a strata inspection and how does it work?

A strata inspection involves a full assessment of the accounts and records of a strata-titled unit or apartment.

A strata-titled property is one that is owned by multiple people – that is, when you buy the unit or apartment, you also become a part-owner of the building’s common areas. This means you become partly responsible for handling any issues that arise with these shared spaces.

Strata obligations are managed through an Owners Corporation, also sometimes called a Body Corporate, which is a legal entity.

A strata inspection report covers things like:

  • Building condition, including any defects
  • Past and future building works
  • Expenses for the previous 2 years
  • Quarterly levies and special levies
  • A sinking fund forecast, which predicts the costs of repairing and replacing parts of the common property in a strata building
  • Strata scheme insurance
  • Owners Corporation meeting minutes
  • Records of any disputes or breaches.

Strata inspections are usually done by a specialised strata inspector or a solicitor.

How much does a strata inspection cost?

Strata inspections vary in cost, but will typically set you back around $200-$350.

When would you get a strata inspection?

Strata inspections are most commonly undertaken by prospective buyers, prior to purchasing a strata-titled property.

Strata searches can take a few days to complete, so keep this in mind before you make an offer on a property.

What are the benefits of getting a strata inspection?

Getting a strata inspection report before you commit to buying a property can save you lots of headaches down the road.

Ideally, the inspection report will confirm that the residents and Owners Corporation don’t have a history of disputes, the property is managed effectively and finances raised by the Owners Corporation are sufficient.

But, if the report does uncover problems like financial mismanagement or building defects, this means you’ll be able to dodge them and potentially save yourself thousands.

Do you have questions about buying a home or getting a home loan that’s right for you? Lendi’s Home Loan Specialists are here to help. Book an appointment at a time that suits you.

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The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered personal or financial advice. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.

Tags: property, home loan, building inspection, pest inspection, home inspection, strata title

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