Your home is your biggest investment, so it pays to make sure that it is free of insects, construction defects and free of other encumbrances.
Yet many are nervous about the costs of hiring an expert building or pest inspector for your residential or commercial property.
Nevertheless, the benefits outweigh the costs of finding an unpleasant surprise once you have moved into the building.
So let’s look at how to get a professional building inspection done, and the do’s and don’ts.
Why do a Pre-Purchase Building Pest Inspection?
Getting a professional pre-purchase building inspection can feel like an added expense, so you would not be wrong to wonder whether you really need a third party.
Why I can’t do it myself, you may ask.
- A professional building or pest inspector can see what the amateur eye cannot. Knowing the structural defects of the property, especially serious ones, and what they will cost to rectify is a huge relief beforehand. It not only helps you decide whether to buy or not, but also strengthens your negotiating position. This is important given the huge financial outlay you will be making in the property, commercial or residential.
- In the same way, a professional pest inspector can find refuges, nests, entry points and other signs of insect infestations which you may miss (or not know where to look).
- A pre-purchase building pest inspection helps you find out any flaws that the seller may attempt to hide from you.
- Finally, inspection helps you avoid buyer’s regret stemming from mounting pest treatment
- And building maintenance costs.
What You Stand to Gain from Pre-Purchase Building and Pest Inspections?
1. You Know What You are Buying:
We usually skip the fine print when we buy an insurance policy or even a car.
But would you do that for a building?
Doing a cursory inspection by walking around the house or commercial property is the equivalent of skipping the fine print.
The building seller may not reveal any defects or pests (or to give them the benefit of doubt may not be aware themselves).
Yet, they may not tolerate an intrusive inspection of their property, which may require looking behind pictures, lifting carpets etc, checking out attics, furnace rooms, garages etc. for signs of infestation, or downplay cracks or leaks in the walls, roof or floor.
An expert on the other hand, can point out what further damages a neglected crack could lead to, or where there is scope for a pest invasion of your newly bought home.
2.Avoid Future Problems:
You may also be tempted to think that a dab of cement or patching a hole might prevent an infestation, as opposed to paying for a professional inspector.
But this could only leave you vulnerable to a huge bill in the future, when that neglected stain snowballs into a catastrophic leak, or a whole wall may need to be torn down because of termites.
Your home or commercial property losing value would be the last thing you want.
3. Be Prepared for Safe Pest Control:
Many treatment methods use toxic chemicals depending on the nature of the pest.
However, some of these may trigger allergies in the residents.
A pest audit of the home or commercial property before you purchase it will thus help you decide on carrying out remedial measures in case you decide to buy.
Many effective pest control methods are available today that are child- and pet-friendly, non-allergenic and environmentally sound.
A thorough pest inspection of the property will therefore allow you to feature these costs into your negotiation.
4. Get the True Value of the Building:
A pre-purchase building pest inspection will help you get a realistic picture of what you should pay for the property.
It’s not just ‘location, location, location’ after all! Any costs you will be made to incur for insect treatment or building repairs should be discounted by the seller to give you the real value of the property you are looking at.
5. Be Prepared for the Long Term:
A professional pre-purchase building inspection will also identify the kind of building materials in your property, so you can plan in advance for the future, when inevitably you may need to carry out repairs, refurbishment etc.
6. Improve Your Negotiating Hand
It pays to commission a pre-purchase building-pest inspection so you go into the deal with an informed and therefore stronger hand, and can make sure that you get a price that you think is fair.
Don’t let an attractive view from the building or a convenient location cloud your judgement.
A professional building pest inspection before you purchase a property is an investment in the right direction.
If you decline the purchase because of an adverse report, you have saved yourself hidden costs.
If you go ahead with the purchase, you will have no worries enjoying your property.
Guest Author: Muzi Tsolakis founded Protech Pest Control, with specialisations in commercial and home pest control in Melbourne. He has extensive expertise in termite control and insect inspections, and leads a team of expert exterminators trained to spot and eliminate insects, mites and nests.