When you buy a new house, your sale and purchase agreement is likely to include a clause that requires a builder’s report, also known as a pre-purchase inspection. During the inspection, an independent professional will check the condition of the property and make you aware of any potential issues before you commit to the sale.
A pre-purchase inspection can save you thousands in unexpected costs, because if it uncovers a major issue with the house or section, you can choose back out of the sale, or renegotiate the deal to include repairs by the current owner or a reduction in price. A professional inspector will identify problems that aren’t apparent to the untrained eye.
What happens at a pre-purchase inspection?
The idea of getting an entire house checked over can be daunting, but the process is usually straightforward. Here are the answers to some common questions about pre-purchase inspections.
Does the inspection only cover the inside of the house? No, a pre-purchase inspection will look at both the inside and outside of the property. Typically, areas covered include the following:
- Site, including drainage, paving, and retaining walls
- Subfloor, including electrical connections and plumbing
- Roof and flashings
- Exterior, including cladding, windows, and doors
- Interior condition, noting areas of acceptable wear and tear and damage
Does the pre-purchase inspection look for leaks or dampness? Most standard pre-purchase inspections include non-invasive moisture testing and sometimes also thermal imaging moisture testing, which will indicate any problems. If the problem looks severe, you may need to undertake invasive moisture testing for further investigation.
How quickly can a pre-purchase inspection be done? The turnaround time depends on the inspector’s workload, but at InnoHome, we can often offer a same-day service.
What do I get at the end of the pre-purchase inspection? In most cases, you’ll get a written report, which will include in-depth comments on all areas covered during the inspection, not just a set of tick-boxes. Choose a verbal report if you need a quicker response. The verbal report can then be followed with a written copy.
What can I do with my pre-purchase inspection? The builder’s report can help you decide whether you want to buy the property. If problems are detected, the pre-purchase inspection can be used to negotiate with the vendor. You may ask them to carry out repairs or reduce the price to allow for the cost of the work you will need to do to remedy the issues. You may also need to give a copy of your builder’s report to your bank or solicitor as part of your mortgage agreement.
Who should I choose to do my pre-purchase inspection?
When completing a sale and purchase agreement, it is possible to specify that you would like to do your own pre-purchase inspection, or get a general builder to do it. However, it’s a much better option to get a professional building inspector.
A pre-purchase inspection by a skilled building inspector will be thorough and will probably pick up things you won’t. The building inspection industry in New Zealand is unregulated, so be sure to choose an accredited company who will carry out your inspection to national standards. Pre-purchase inspections performed by trained and experienced individuals will also carry more weight with vendors, banks, and solicitors.
Our inspector, Kevin, is a Licensed Building Practitioner and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Building Inspectors (NZIBI) and has qualifications in building surveying and infrared thermography.
If you need a professional builders inspection carried out, contact us to arrange your appointment today.
Read More Articles