You don’t want your dream home to prove to be a nightmare. “It’s cheap, very easy to use and I get the report before I leave the property, plus I can use it over and over again. I also self manage many of my properties and this app allows me to update the reports throughout the tenancy.”
There’s no shortage of horror stories about people who have bought a property that looked fine on the outside but on closer inspection was found to have serious defects.
Major problems and faults can cost property buyers many thousands of dollars to fix (that’s if they’re fixable at all), not to mention the emotional stress of watching your ”successful” purchase turn into a nightmare.
So how can you avoid buying a dud? The first rule, as always, is to buy using your head, not your heart.
This means ensuring you thoroughly and objectively assess properties for signs not only of existing problems but also problems that may occur down the track.
When inspecting a property, you should do two types of checks.
The first is your own initial appraisal using a DIY building inspector app to guide you objectively through the property and raise any red flags, and the second – if you’re serious about the property – is to bring in the experts to check those red flags, who can assess the home with experience and skill to ensure the home is free from significant defects that could cost you in the future.
When it’s time to call in the experts
Property investor Peter Simons wouldn’t dream of buying without getting a professional pre-purchase building and pest inspection done.
‘‘I wouldn’t drive a car without insurance and I certainly wouldn’t buy a property without getting it checked out by a professional first,’’ Simons, 58, says.
‘‘I like to go into a sale with my eyes open. It doesn’t usually stop me from buying the property, it just gives me a heads up to any defects or any small maintenance issues that I can fix later.’’
In some instances, Peter has used the report to negotiate a better price. Before making a most recent purchase in Hobart, Peter called on Independent Property Inspections, which identified a leaking shower and a drainage problem.
Although the report cost $480, Peter says it was worth it. ‘‘They gave us a written report and we also had access to the inspector prior, during and after the inspection,’’ he says.
‘‘He was really prompt in calling us and along with some of the issues, he gave us positive buying points as to whether the property was basically sound and what future maintenance would be needed.’’