Mistake No. 1
1) Failing to get a Professional Building Inspection done. Although it might appear self serving for a property inspector to say you need the services of a professional property inspector when you buy your home. I can only say that many years of experience have repeatedly justified that advice. (To the extent that I am now writing a “Book of Horror Stories”). I really believe that this one piece of advice is the best and most valuable bit of advice in this entire report.
No one else in the home buying process (apart from your lawyer) has the comprehensive training and experience necessary for the protection of your interests. No one else in the process has the true independence and lack of conflict that are required to protect your interests than an independent property inspector.
Gone are the days of getting your home inspected by a well meaning friend of relative, this process demands professionalism and expertise that can only be delivered by an experienced independent property inspector. Not getting a professional pre-purchase inspection done to discover hidden defects before you buy a home is one of the most expensive mistakes you can make, and is the easiest to avoid.
If you are not a professional home inspector, hire one. You should make your contract subject to receiving a satisfactory building report from a professional independent inspector. Whether the house is new or used, any home can have a wide variety of defects that go way beyond the obvious cosmetic ones and it will take a skilled inspector to uncover these defects that will only prove very costly to repair after you buy the property then it’s to late. In addition you can also make the contract contingent on more specific systems in the property like Plumbing, Electrical, heating, air-conditioning etc. Alternatively a well written contract can also require the seller to warrant that these systems are all in proper operating condition. If you’re buying in a Termite prone area a timber pest inspection should also be included.
If you’re buy at auction the building inspection must be done before the property is auctioned We have seen to many buyers dreams shattered by not having a professional pre-purchase inspection carried out before they brought the home. Not getting a professional pre-purchase inspection done to discover hidden defects before you buy a home is one of the most expensive mistakes you can make, and is the easiest one to avoid. It seems incredible that all this can be avoided with just one phone call, yet so many still make the same mistake.
Horror Story – Take Jim for example, Jim had just been through a really rough part in his life, his children all lived over seas, his wife of 47 years past away six months ago after he lovingly nursed her through the cancer treatments for three years. Now Jim just wanted a new start, so with what little savings he still had plus the money from the sale of the family home Jim could afford a nice two bedroom unit closer to town, something he could potter around the garden in and live out his days.
Jim went to his first open home, a nice little unit and it had a garden just like he wanted, there was lots of furniture and all sorts of rugs and mats throughout, Jim said it looked a bit cluttered but his furniture would fit right in. Jim went to the auction (His first time ever)with a pocket full of cash. It was the happiest day for years when he won the final bid and brought his own little piece of paradise.
Jim called me the day he got the keys. The unit was settled that morning and Jim went straight out there to start moving in. Now with all the furniture and rugs removed Jim new he was in serious trouble. When i inspected the unit the next morning I found the concrete floor had completely failed and sunk by up to 150mm or 6 inches, None of the doors would close, some had even been removed completely, the tiled roof was supported through the walls onto the floor slab and had also sunk. Jim had a major structural failure and was looking at a possible complete demolition and rebuild. When I gave him the bad news he just slumped in the middle of the empty lounge and sobbed. He kept repeating “why didn’t I take the advice and get it inspected first”
I must admit It still upsets me now when I recall this one.
Buying a property is a complex transaction; You will need a dependable team around you like a Lawyer, Lender, Inspector, Insurer as well as all you own due diligence and advice from friends and family. You should enlist the help of all these experts early in the buying process.