When To Walk Away From A Property

Peeling paint on bricks

Buying a property is one of the biggest purchases you will face in your lifetime. You will spend countless hours doing your research on potential suburbs, the market value of the area and determining your budget. There’s also the decision of renovating, redecorating or moving straight in. 

Whatever you end up deciding, one thing that is certain is that you’ll be getting a building and pest inspection done on any potential property you’re interested in. This is a crucial step in the home buying process.

No doubt you’ve heard horror stories of people spending hundreds of thousands on a property, only to find out they will need to spend tens of thousands more on repairs. If these are left unrepaired, they could create serious safety hazards or irreversible damage to the property. In many cases, these repairs won’t add much, if any, value to the property, so your so-called investment turns into a financial nightmare.

Look Before You Leap

A pre-purchase building and pest inspection is something that will help you make an informed decision on a property you’re interested in. It’s a small price to pay compared to the amount you could be losing in costly repairs or purchasing a dud.

Getting a professional inspector to thoroughly check the property is a no-brainer. While the average person might be able to see the obvious flaws, a professional will be able to find the more common building defects and give advice on their significance.

During a building and pest inspection, Inspect My Home provide a visual appraisal of the property’s condition, and check the following areas:

  • roof getting checked during inspectionInterior of the building
  • Roof space
  • Under-floor space
  • Roof exterior
  • Exterior of the building
  • Garage, carport and garden shed
  • Separate laundry or toilet
  • Small retaining walls (non-structural) for retaining wall failure
  • Steps, fencing, paths and driveways
  • Evidence of active termites and/or termite damage
  • Conditions conducive to termite attack.

It’s recommended you are present during the inspection so your inspector can talk you through their findings and show you any points of concern. Inspect My Home provides you with a written report within 24 hours of the inspection, which will contain a detailed account of the findings.

View a sample report

When is it a deal breaker?

Termite workings and damage to a pitched hardwood roof
Significant termite damage could be a deal breaker

Now when you’ve had your pre-purchase inspection and received your report, what exactly is a “deal breaker”?

It would be hard to find a house without any fault; most have flaws of some description. What’s important is determining whether these faults are minor or not.

The following are some examples of potential deal breakers:

  • Significant structural movement
  • Substantial deterioration in building elements (such as roofing or rendering)
  • Major water penetration
  • Considerable mould
  • Extensive rusting that could compromise structural integrity
  • Substantial termite damage throughout the building frame
Wall Crack
Is a crack in the wall a sign of significant structural damage?

These more serious faults could wind up costing a small fortune to fix or may not be able to be fixed at all.

Of course, if you’re looking at knocking down the existing property and rebuilding, these issues may not be a problem. They might even help you negotiate a better price. Same goes if you are a builder yourself, getting an already low price on the property, or have access to cheap tradies; you might be better prepared for the task ahead.

We can’t tell you not to buy a property, but a comprehensive property inspection by an experienced professional will uncover these issues. It will help you make an informed decision based on the facts.

Inspect My Home conduct building and pest inspections in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. To see if we service your area,  please use our suburb search above or contact us on 1300 337 447.

You can book an inspection online here.

Image courtesy: Flickr user Marc Falardeau

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