Buying a home can be a hefty financial decision, so it makes sense to be prepared. After all, when you’ve worked hard to save for the deposit on a home loan, you want to be as sure as possible about your decision.
Despite this, many people can forget about an important element in their preparations: A building inspection. Whether it’s to save money, or because it simply slipped their mind, inspections can fall to the bottom of the priority list.
But if you believe skipping over this step will make your life easier, think again. Here are three reasons why it’s an essential measure to take.
1. Identifies structural problems
Checking the property during an open home is one thing – hiring a number of professionals to cast their expert eye over the home is another. With only a short period of time to view the home on your own, you might not see potentially hazardous problems.
While you might think that you’ve identified all the things you’d like to change or improve, an inspector, surveyor, builder or architect is trained to pick up on hidden or easily missed faults with a building.
For instance, rising damp or cracks in the walls can be easily missed, and you aren’t likely to scale the roof during a personal inspection. But without knowledge of these problems, the property can put you and your family at risk, particularly if the issues deteriorate quickly.
In any case, some problems might be impossible to repair without significant building work. This isn’t something you want to deal with in a new home. What’s more, you might be liable to bring the property up to scratch with the Building Code of Australia, which can rack up large charges and even penalties if the problems aren’t addressed.
2. Negotiating power
Armed with a pre-purchase building report, you can enter into the negotiation progress with all the facts. You might even be able to argue for a lower purchase price. In fact, based on the contents of the report, you can position for extra terms to be added to the contract. For instance, the vendor needs to fix up an area before you’ll agree to their price.
Get your real estate agent on board with these discussions. They’ll have an idea of a suitable price for the home, and be able to bring comparable properties to the table.
We all love a ‘fixer-upper’, but there comes a point when the costs of repairing a home can outweigh the benefits. This is where a pre-purchase inspection can be a major advantage. The report lets you know in advance what work needs to be done.
Once you know where the problems are, you can also hire a builder or engineer to give you an estimate of the costs for repairs and renovations, which gives you the chance to budget carefully. This can potentially save you hundreds of dollars or, in some cases, it might convince you to look elsewhere.
Preparation is key to a plethora of factors when buying a home, and this is equally the case with taking out a home loan. For help working out how much you can borrow and the options available to you, make sure to get in touch with our team of home loan professionals at Border Bank.