Knowing the real conditions of the house you want to buy, before paying a single dollar, is essential to prevent the investment of your life from becoming a horrible and expensive nightmare.
You have found the house of your dreams: it is located in the area you have always wanted, it is spacious, spacious, has a beautiful garden and a garage for two cars. The price is high but you can afford it and you sign the purchase contract. Within two months of moving in, you discover that roofs are leaking, structures are cracked, and electricity is not stable. The repair is almost a third of the total price of your mortgage. How to avoid this?
Once you sign the real estate purchase contract, a process will begin with a series of steps that will lead you to the acquisition of the property. For this reason, your real estate agent will give you a checklist showing all the activities to be carried out before reaching the closing operation.
Most contracts have a contingency clause that allows the buyer to cancel it if there is a substantial problem revealed by a building inspections. But, if there are no major problems, you have a legal obligation to comply with what is signed.
The building inspections
You should order a full and detailed building inspections immediately after signing the contract and request an inspection report before applying for the loan.
Ask your agent to advise you on several inspectors who work in the area where the property is located and master the local requirements.
If you are pre-approved by a lender, as recommended, it will not take you long, once you have received the approval of the building inspections, to apply for the loan. Make sure that the inspection of the property is as professional as possible, ask your agent to accompany the inspectors to check if they are thorough in their work.
When selecting the professionals who will perform the building inspections, avoid conflicts of interest with them. Do not hire those who may have a renovation company and recommend jobs that they or people around them should undertake. Remember that Australian inspectors have a license that regulates their actions.
Find out what a normal building inspections is, based on the standards in your area, and verify that the inspector you hire meets those standards.
Another good idea is to hire the inspector to walk through with you a day or two before closing, when the seller has removed the furniture and personal items from the property. This way you can check on the spot if the repairs were carried out correctly and if all the devices are as established in the contract.
When buying new property, many agents do not recommend hiring an inspector. However, you must consider that new construction can also have defects, and some very significant ones that could invalidate the contract. It is better to spend your money on an inspector who can discover errors that you can overlook.
Home and building inspections focus on eight areas
- The state of the structure.
- The external evaluation of the house.
- Very important, the conditions of the roofs.
- The condition of the plumbing.
- The functioning of the systems and components of the house.
- The state of the electrical system, cables, sockets, voltage level, state of the electrical boxes.
- The situation of the kitchen, air conditioning, washing machines, dryers, fans, electrical openings and closings, heating and other appliances in the house.
- The condition and operation of the garages and cupboards on the property.
When you are applying for a mortgage, you should take into consideration that lenders also have a say about building inspections. Lenders are primarily interested in two reports:
One on the roofs, where it is explained that they lack leaks or cracks that are susceptible to letting water pass; where the inclination of the same, the condition of the coatings and the drains are analyzed. If it is a flat roof, the document must state that it is in good condition, without water pockets or bulges.
The other report is on the state of the structure. Inspectors must certify that the home is free of wood destroying organisms (WDO), where applicable.
If there is a problem in the structure of the property or it has a faulty foundation, the roofs in very poor condition or the electrical cables are not coded, you can cancel the contract thanks to the contingency clause.
But if you discover a minor plumbing or electrical problem that is easy to fix, you can work out a deal with the seller to fix it or lower your home price.
You must push for the deadlines established in your real estate agent's agenda to be met. Remember that building inspections reports are valid for 20 days. The purchase process must take place in a short period of time, it is like the gear of a clock, so that the hands mark the time, different wheels have to be put into operation that you must accompany in their movement. If just one stops, all the gear will stop and could result in a postponement of the closing date, for which you will have to hire new home or building inspections.